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

coconut crusted chicken tenders with honey mustard sauce

coconut crusted chicken tenders with honey mustard sauce
coconut crusted chicken tenders with honey mustard sauce
coconut crusted chicken tenders with honey mustard sauce

When I was pregnant with my son, I read a lot about parenting and I mean a lot. I know, this is not a mommy blog but stick with me. One of my favorite books was "French Children Don't Throw Food". I've always had a thing for French culture, this book was about kids and food so it sounded like I could get something out of it. And I did. I devoured it in days. 

Once finished, I felt like I would be able to raise my child just like the French. I would be a master at it. Well I was wrong about the master part - a novice at best. But what I did take away is something that has always stuck with me and that's doing away with the term "kid food". I know some people swear by kid food and that's cool - do what works but I've never used it and don't believe that food needs to be anything other than "food".

After all children are not sub-human. They're just little versions of the adults they will some day become. Pains in the ass at times sure, but nonetheless just the same as you and me. So I feel like referring to something as kid food is drippy, isolationist, inflexible...whatever you want to call it.  So I'm proposing we get rid of the term and raise kids to simply eat food...all food. 

And why did I go on this tirade? Well chicken tenders are generally considered to be kid food but that's so not the case in my house. We all love them just as much without there needing to be an assigned term to them. Just plain chicken tenders.

But the trouble with the traditional chicken tenders is that they're typically made with flour and breadcrumbs. And while I make them for my family all the time, I decided this time, I want in and I'm changing things up. It was a last minute decision where I literally just traded out almond flour for regular and coconut flakes for breadcrumbs. I was hesitant thinking the change wouldn't necessarily fly, but to my surprise, my husband dug right into one the second it was out of the frying pan. And once the kids were on board, I knew I had something. 

It's a pretty good substitution when you still want that familiar taste but without the familiar bloating and pain. So check out this quick coconut crusted chicken tender recipe you could easily use for meal prep too. And since it needed a little something extra, I whipped up a quick honey mustard sauce for dipping. 

coconut crusted chicken tenders with honey mustard sauce
coconut crusted chicken tenders with honey mustard sauce

Print Friendly and PDF

coconut crusted chicken tenders with honey mustard sauce

  • prep time: 5 minutes

  • cooking time: 10 minutes

  • makes: 6-8 pieces

Ingredients: 

Equipment

Directions: 

For honey mustard sauce: In small mixing bowl, combine mayo, mustard, vinegar, honey salt and optional, cayenne. Set aside. 

Next, lay chicken in one layer on top of plastic wrap and lay another layer of wrap on top of the chicken. Beat chicken with tenderizer until it's about 1/4" thick. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder. 

Pour almond flour and coconut flakes in separate plates. Beat eggs until thoroughly incorporated. 

Create an assembly line of chicken, almond flour, egg and coconut flakes. Dredge chicken through each respectively and set on plate. 

Preheat frying pan on medium, add oil and cook chicken on each side for 3-4 minutes until brown and cooked through. You may need to work in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan. 


When you're in the mood for chicken tenders but follow a paleo, gluten free or whole30 lifestyle, that's not an option. But it can be with a few substitutes. These coconut crusted chicken tenders are juicy and flavorful and go perfectly with a side of home made honey mustard sauce. #paleo, #whole30, #glutenfree, #dairyfree, #chickentenders, #chicken, #chickenrecipe, #chickenfingers, #coconut, #honeymustard, #calmeats, #lunch, #dinner

date coconut chocolate delights

Last week, I couldn't get enough chocolate. I found myself constantly playing around with some sort of variation of food involving chocolate. I also wanted something fast, I mean under 10 minutes fast and no cooking involved. So I raided my pantry for exactly 6 ingredients and got to work. 

Now as I've mentioned in a previous post, nutrient density is always important to me so even sweet treats have to have some nutritional benefit if my family is going to be eating them. These little balls are packed with goodness so not only will you tame the chocolate beast but you'll get some excellent nutrition along the way. These little guys are dense so you don't need a whole lot to satisfy your craving. 

Since there are only 6 ingredients and no cooking involved, you want to make sure you use quality ingredients. And since I love talking about the benefits of what we put into our bodies, lets look at why you should feel good about eating these foods. The ones I really want to highlight for their nutritional benefit are going to be cacao, coconut oil, dates and chia seeds. While cashews and unsweetened shredded coconut have their own nutritional benefits I really wanted to focus on the four.

Benefits of raw cacao:

  • Contains anandamide, which is a neurotransmitter that has been found in cacao. It's a feel good chemical that the brain naturally releases when you're feeling happy.

  • Full of antioxidants. In fact, cacao has shown to contain more antioxidants than blueberries, goji berries, red wine and pomegranate combined.

  • Lowers blood pressure and improves circulation.

  • Full of Magnesium. It is said that cacao is the highest magnesium containing food on the planet. Most Americans are deficient in this key mineral, which helps with everything from calming anxiety, to increasing energy, aiding with constipation, preventing migraine headaches, improving heart and muscle function and more.

  • Serotonin release. That's right this is the very one that's contained in our standard antidepressants (SSRIs -Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors). "Magnesium and tryptophan, both necessary chemicals for the production of serotonin, are contained in raw Cacao. Tryptophan is heat-volatile and therefore non-existent in cooked chocolate or a cooked food diet, making raw chocolate an excellent way to obtain dietary tryptophan and maintain sufficient levels of the stress balancing serotonin."

Coconut oil benefits:  

  • Contains MCT- (Medium Chain Tryglicerides) - the fatty acids found in MCTs are called Medium Chain Fatty Acids (MCFAs) these have shown to help with weight loss. "Because they have fewer carbon atoms, MCTs have a number of advantages over LCTs (Long Chain Fatty Acids). Although MCTs are fat, and feel like fat in your mouth, they cannot make you fat. They resemble carbohydrates more than fat, are easy to digest, and are burned as energy—so there is no where for them to go, and no place for you body to store them."

  • Prevention of metabolic syndrome: These include a cluster of conditions which can increase heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. A peer review has shown that MCFAs play a role in preventing and treating metabolic syndrome.

  • Cancer prevention: This is one of the most startling discoveries. Coconut oil is turned into ketones in the liver. Tumor cells cannot access ketones and are dependent of glucose in order to proliferate and thrive.

  • Improved digestion: The fats in coconut oil contain antimicrobial properties which help to ward of some of the unwanted bacteria and parasites in the gut, which lead to indigestion.

Benefits of chia seeds

  • High in Fiber: I think everyone always hears about the importance of fiber but not everyone understands why this is. Most fiber is not digestible by the small intestine and passes through to the colon, where it becomes food for the numerous colonies of bacteria living in the tract. This is why eating refined sugar and flour is not too good for our bugs. These break down very quickly and are absorbed by the small intestine. An overgrowth of bacteria can occur in this unwanted place, leading to SIBO (Small Intestininal Bacterial Overgrowth). If we starve the bacteria which rely on fiber for food, they will feed on the mucosal lining of the intestinal tract, causing a lot of problems. I will address this in detail in a future post.

  • High Omega 3s: I've mentioned this in prevoius posts, but Omega 3s help with preventing heart disease, inflammation, help to lower blood pressure and are crucial for women of child bearing age or those who are pregnant or nursing. Additionally, some other sources of Omega 3s can easily become rancid but chia seeds have a very long shelf life - something like 4 years.

  • High in Antioxidants: These fight free radicals and assist in the prevention of cancers.

Benefits of dates: 

  • Assist with constipation: Dates have been shown to have a laxative effect. Soaking 4-6 dates overnight and consuming them along with the liquid has shown to assist with constipation.

  • Easy energy boost: Dates are high in natural sugars and are quickly metabolized providing an almost intimidate burst of energy.

  • Easier labor: This will apply to both women and men as men do have to suffer along side of women! But it's been shown that eating dates leading up to the due the date, could ease labor.

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp raw cacao powder

  • 1 tbsp melted unrefined coconut oil

  • 1 tsp chia seeds

  • 15-20 roasted cashews

  • 1 tsp unsweetened coconut flakes plus an additional tbsp for rolling

  • 1 cup chopped dates

  • optional - coconut flour dredging

Equipment

  • Food processor

  • Mixing bowl

Directions:

Melt coconut oil either in the micro for 30 seconds or on the stove and combine with cacao in a medium bowl until well incorporated. Set aside. In a food processor, add the chopped dates, cacao and coconut oil mixture and blend until fairly small and well incorporated. Add cashews, chia seeds and shredded coconut and continue pulsing for an additional 30 seconds or until well incorporated. Put everything back in the bowl.

With clean hands or wearing kitchen gloves, form small 1" balls and dredge them through coconut flakes. Store in the refrigerator in an air-tight container. I don't recommend storing them at room temperature as coconut oil melts once it get past 76 °F.

* An option is to dredge some of the balls in coconut flour and if you want to get creative, melt additional coconut oil and mix with cacao and add a 1/2 tsp of raw honey. You can add another layer of chocolate to some of them if you so desire.