Chocolate Zucchini Brownies with Peanut Butter Frosting 

Chocolate Zucchini Brownies with Peanut Butter Frosting

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup pitted and chopped dates
  • 3/4 cup hot water
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup organic light spelt flour, or buckwheat for gluten free option.
  • 1/3 cup raw cocao powder
  • 1/4 cup organic coconut sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan or sea salt
  • 1 cup finely shredded zucchini, by hand or with a food processor 
  • 1/4 cup walnut pieces or pumpkin seeds for a nut free version

FROSTING:

  • 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips
  • 3 tablespoons almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter

Instructions

  1. Place the dates in a small bowl and pour the hot water over them. Allow to soak until the dates are soft, about 1/2 hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare an 8×8-inch baking dish by lining it with parchment paper or oiling lightly.
  3. Put the dates and the soaking water in the blender with the applesauce and vanilla. Blend at high speed until completely smooth. Set aside.
  4. Combine the flour, cacao, coconut sugar, baking soda, and salt. Stir in the zucchini and walnuts, if using. Add the blended date mixture and stir until all the flour is moistened. The batter will be thick. Spoon it into the prepared pan and smooth over the top.
  5. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until brownies are no longer liquid in the middle and edges are firm but not drying out. Allow to cool.
  6. You can eat them plain or add the Chocolate-Peanut Butter Frosting:
  7. Combine the chocolate chips, non-dairy milk, and nut butter in a double boiler, cook and stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Frost brownies immediately. Allow to stand about 20 minutes to firm up. Enjoy!

Inspired by Fat Free Vegan.com

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Holistic Lacey’s Pantry

Holistic Lacey’s Pantry

When transitioning to a plant based diet, focus on adding as many organic, seasonal, local and fresh fruits and vegetable to your diet. I recommend adding salads or raw food to every meal (according to constitution), as well enjoying snacks such as fruit, veggies, superfoods & green smoothies. Some of my favourite nutrient powerhouses include sweet potatoes, kale, spinach, avocados, almonds, brazil nuts, berries, lemons, broccoli.

Whole grains/ flours

Quinoa

Millet

Brown Rice

Spelt flour

Light bucwkwheat

Sprouted grain bread/ rye bread

Soba noodles

Rolled oats

Barley

Nuts & seeds

Flax seeds

Chia seeds

Hemp seeds

Pumpkin seeds

Sunflower seeds

Walnuts

Pecans

Almonds (almond butter)

Brazil nuts

Sesame seeds (+tahini)

Beans, legumes, & more veggie protein

Chickpeas

Black beans

Kidney beans

Edamame

Mung beans (sprouting)

Red lentils

Green lentils

Organic Tofu

Organic Tempeh

Organic Free-Range Eggs

Sweeteners

Maple syrup

Honey (raw/local)

Molasses

Dried fruits

Medjool dates

Organic un-sulphured apricots

Cranberries

Raisins

Oils & vinegars

Olive oil

Coconut oil

MCT oil

Sesame oil

Grapeseed oil

Apple cider vinegar

Balsamic vinegar

Spices & fresh herbs

All spices &herbs especially cinnamon, sea salt,  turmeric, fresh ginger root, garlic, parsley, cilantro

Condiments & more

Grainy mustard

Dijon Mustard

Tamari (gluten free)

Kalamata olives

Superfoods

Goji berries

Sea veggies

Cacao (raw)

Maca

Ashwagandha

Bee Pollen

Chaga/ Reishi Mushroom tea

Shortcuts

unsweetened Apple sauce

Vegetable broth

Almond milk (Earth’s own)

Hummus

Salsa

Sea veggies

Kombu

Nori

Dulse

Spirulina

Chlorella

Dairy (refrigerate)

Organic Butter

Organic plain yogurt

Organic Kefir

Goat cheese

Sheep feta

Other:

Fermented food (refrigerate) Kombucha

Saurkraut

Kimchi

Loose Leaf Tea

Supplements:

Probiotics

Plant based enzymes by Organika

Aloe Verga Juice by Lily of the Dessert

Greens Powder 

Chocolate, Meditation & Love Aphrodisiacs

Have you Heard of the “Bliss” Molecule? 

Chocolate, Meditation and Love Aphrodisiacs

An article by Lacey Budge written for The Adult Chair

It’s time to up your chocolate consumption. Say goodbye to milk chocolate and hello to pure raw chocolate in the form of superfood drinks {elixirs}, smoothies and sweet desserts {bliss balls}.

Anandamide, the bliss molecule, is found in raw cacao (a.k.a chocolate) and is pronounced as ca-cow not coco. This natural pleasure boosting compound is released when we are feeling good and induces the same euphoric feeling as a runner’s “high” – minus the sprints and squats!

If you are looking for a boost, (mood or libido!), consider adding this superfood to your diet. Cacao is high in the amino acid tryptophan, which is key for the production of dopamine and serotonin – a natural mood stabiliser.

It even releases natural endorphins and compounds like theobromine and phenylethylamine (PEA) which gives us the natural “high” we feel when we are in love.

Cacao, known as the Food of the Gods by the Aztecs, comes from a plant native to Costa Rica (where it was once used as local currency). It is the highest antioxidant food in the world, along with chaga, maca, acai and goji berries.

The nutritional profile for this favourite treat is extraordinary. It is the highest source of the mineral magnesium – important for heart health and extremely beneficial for women, especially during their moon cycle. The pure of chocolate is also very high in iron, potassium, calcium, B vitamins and copper; promotes longevity and even weight loss.

Choose cacao in its pure raw form (vs baking cocoa), as many of these health compounds can be damaged by heating and over processing. If you can’t get your hands on a ethically sourced 100% chocolate bar, I recommend raw cacao powder. Other options include cacao beans and nibs.

Are you already excited about bringing more chocolate back into your life? Now, consider combining it with certain foods to increase its aphrodisiac effects.

We begin with Maca, also known as Peruvian Ginseng. This superfood root veggie, grown in the high altitudes of the Andes, helps you adapt to stress and promotes long lasting energy…especially during love making!

Next, we do like the Mayans! In traditional Mayan “heart opening” cacao ceremonies, warming spices like cinnamon, ginger, clove, cardamom and cayenne have always been utilised. These spices don’t only warm up your digestion, but can spice up your love life too.

Fun fact: hot peppers open the blood vessels and allow you to absorb the benefits of the cacao and maca even more. Vanilla bean relaxes the body, which is important for all aspects of life, and is traditionally grown along side the cacao plant.

Start using this powder in your chocolate love potions, morning smoothies, kids hot chocolates and any dessert that calls for cocoa.

You can join Holistic Lacey for a heart opening cacao ceremony in Costa Rica, during her 9 Day Holistic Lifestyle Retreat, this April at Farm of Life.

One last thing… when it comes to aphrodisiacs, we cannot forget about the importance of meditation. This mindfulness practice quiets the mind and increases an overall sense of well being, relaxation and connectedness. When we become more present in our life, we become a more present lover. Through a regular meditation practice, we begin to feel content and whole in the present moment, and no longer look to our partner to “complete” us.

By Holistic Lacey | Nourishing body, mind and Spirit

Recipe : The Aphrodisiac Hot Chocolate

Serves 2 

2.5 cups Chai Tea, hot and brewed

4 heaping tbsp of raw cacao powder

1 heaping tbsp organic coconut oil

1 tsp maca

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp maple syrup, raw honey or 3 Medjool dates

1/2 tsp vanilla extract or powder

a small piece of ginger root

a pinch of cayenne

2 tbsp hemp seeds

Blend until well combined and super deliciously frothy! If you like, top with  additional superfoods like cacao nibs, bee pollen, hemp seeds or goji berries,  Enjoy at your own risk. Warning: may induce a state of euphoria and bliss! 

For more chocolate recipes, try  her Raw Decadent Chocolate Truffles, Healthy Chocolate “Mylk,” Chaga-Cacao Superfood Tea, and an All in One Chocolate Tonic she created specifically for women to boost mood, increase immunity and balance hormones.

 

Lacey Budge, @HolisticLacey, is dedicated to guiding individuals to live a holistic life, and to rediscovering that which already lies within. Her dharma {life purpose} is service. She believes that the best way to truly serve and make a difference is to inspire, educate, and live by example. With her clients, she offers tools such as whole food nutrition, yoga, meditation, self inquiry and connection to nature to reunite them with their True Self. Lacey, Registered Holistic Nutritionist, works in Canada and internationally as a Retreat Centre Coordinator and Facilitator, Vegan Chef, Yoga and Ecstatic Dance Teacher, Public Speaker and is currently so inspired by bringing women together into sacred sisterhood through her Emergence program.

Goin’ Seasonal: Week 3

Last year, I had the honour of being a part of the Dare 2 Dream Sandy Loam Produce first ever Community Support Agriculture (CSA) program in Espanola, Ontario. On a weekly basis, CSA members as well as those of you signed up for the Holistic Lacey newsletter received a flyer filled with delicious recipes, tips and nutritional facts. I have decided to share this deliciousness to inspire, educate and encourage everyone to enjoy eating locally and seasonally, and to feel the difference for yourself.

Week 3: Tasty Turnips CLICK HERE

This week’s newsletter includes:

  • 4  roasted turnip recipes including rosemary & leek or bacon and chives
  • Turnip, greens and beef stew
  • 2 simple and delicious homemade salad dressings

+ A special feature on canning by Lina Goddard of Dare 2 Dream Sandy Loam Produce and Alpaca Farms

 

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream {dairy-free}

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

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Serves 2

4 tbsp or 1/4 cup fresh coconut milk or other milk substitute

1 tablespoon maple syrup (optional)

1 cup baby spinach or curly kale

3 to 5 drops of food grade peppermint oil or mint extract

4 bananas, frozen

3 tablespoons raw cacao nibs or mini chocolate chips.

handful Fresh mint leaves, optional

Instructions

Add coconut milk and spinach to blender and blend until as smooth as possible. Add maple syrup, bananas, peppermint oil and leaves. Start on low and slowly turn blender up to high, using the damper stick of the vitamix. Use the damper to mix well in all four corners, for about 1 minute. Add cacao nibs or chocolate chips and pulse 3 times. Enjoy immediately or allow to set for one hour in the freezer.

Inspiration and photo by @anna_bananas__

Avocado Lover’s Pesto {family size} {oil-free}

Summer sunshine and warm days are here. You’ll want to add this simple pesto to your weekly repertoire, especially if you 1) love avocados, 2) have a lot of ripe ones on hand or 3) are looking for ways to include more healthy fats into your diet. Enjoy with veggie sticks, raw crackers, on pasta (cooked brown rice pasta or raw, spiralized zucchini noodles), on toast with your favourite sandwich or with corn chips.

I created this recipe for a food demo I offered at Farm of Life in April, and guests were so surprised that there was no oil!  I usually add oil to my pestos but with a lot of avocados to use, I had an idea to completely replace the oil with the avos. This pesto is rich, yet still light, creamy and fluffy. Add as much or as little garlic as you like. You can also add a handful or fresh greens like spinach or kale for extra leafy green action!

images-20What you’ll need:

4 avocados

2 bunches of basil

1 cup walnuts or nuts of choice like macadamia, pecans, brazil nuts, cashews

1/4 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed

4-6 medium garlic cloves

1 tsp Himalayan pink salt

1 tsp freshly ground pepper

1/4 – 1/2 cup water, to reach desired consistency

1 cup spinach (optional)

In a food processor, add all ingredients, except water and spinach and pulse until well combined. Slowly add water until you reach your desired consistency. Pulse in spinach and combine until smooth or leave slightly chunky. Store in an airtight container or sealed mason jar and refrigerate. Pesto is best if used within a few days, otherwise you can freeze it for several months.

Trusting this will bring a smile to your face and warm your heart!

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3 Layer stRAWberry Chesse Cake {dairy-free, gluten-free, raw)

StRAWberry Cheese Cake (or fruit of choice!) by Holistic Lacey

This cheesecake is the result of an afternoon in my test kitchen! I played around with a variety of recipes to create the perfect, dairy free cheesecake. This recipe is a nutrient dense powerhouse thanks to the collection of so many amazing ingredients :

Brazil nuts – Just 5 offers your daily dose of selenium, an important mineral.

Walnuts, nut butter and coconut oil – rich sources of healthy fats.

Cashews – very high in the amino acid L-Tryptophan which is made into serotonin in the body. Two handfuls of cashew is the therapeutic equivalent to a dose of anti depressant prescription drugs. 

Maple syrup – high in antioxidants and minerals like zinc and manganese.

3 layer StRAWberry Chesse Cake 

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What you’ll need… Shopping list

Walnuts & pecans (or nuts of choice), shredded coconut, nut butter, coconut oil, maple syrup, pink himalayan salt, cashews, coconut or nut milk, pure vanilla extract, pitted dates, lemon, fresh strawberries.

Holistic Tip: Use organic ingredients when possible for optimal taste and nutrition!

Ingredients

CocoNUT Crust

1/2 cup walnuts or Brazil nuts

1/2 cup pecans

1 cup shredded coconut

2 tbsp almond or nut/seed butter

2 tbsp  unrefined virgin coconut oil

1/2 tsp pink Himalayan salt

Optional to double ingredients for a thicker crust

Lemon Vanilla Filling

2 cups raw cashews, soaked in water for at least 2 hours, drained and rinsed

6 tbsp unrefined virgin coconut oil

1 cup homemade banana coconut milk (get the recipe here!) or nut milk of choice.

1 lemon, juiced

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Strawberry Filling

1/2 the lemon vanilla filling

3/4 cups fresh strawberries

Strawberry Glaze

1.5 cups fresh strawberries

1 cup dates, soaked, pits removed

1 lemon with zest

1 tbsp maple syrup

pinch of Himalayan salt

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Instructions

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Line a 9inch circular spring form pan with parchment paper.

To prepare crust, place all ingredients in a food processor or Vitamix and pulse until a sticky, crumble crust mixture is achieved. If processed too long, the mixture can turn into a nut butter! Press crust firmly into pan with fingers, and place in freezer to set.

To prepare the lemon vanilla filling, drain and rinse cashews. Blend cashews, oil, milk, lemon, maple syrup and vanilla until a smooth creamy texture is formed. Use the damper stick or stop the blender to scrape down the sides with a spatula.

When desired consistency is reached, remove half of the filling lemon vanilla filling and place aside.

Add the strawberries (3/4 cup) to the filling in the blender and blend until well combined.

Remove the pan from the freezer and add the strawberry mix from the blender. Spread evenly with a spoon or spatula. Use a large soup spoon to add the lemon vanilla layer on top into small dollops. Use the back of the spoon to spread the lemon vanilla layer evenly without mixing the two layers.

Or, if you like you can swirl the layers together by placing dollops of the white cream around the pan and then use a tooth pick or butter knife and get creative with your swirling. Set in the freezer for at least 1 hour, preferably 2.

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Remove cake from freezer, top with strawberry glaze and set for 5 hours, or overnight.

The next morning, I like to remove the size of the pan, let the cake sit for 5 minutes and then slice it evenly into slices which I then keep in a tupperware container in the freezer for easy access!

When serving, for a soft-creamy cheesecake, remove from freezer and let sit 15-20 minutes at room temperature.

Enjoy and be sure to comment below or add pictures of your own creations!

Homemade Coconut Milk {fresh & delicious}

Once you experience the ease, simplicity, creaminess and deliciousness of your very own homemade non-dairy milk, there is no turning back! When making healthy lifestyle shifts, especially if you are using mylk on a daily basis for smoothies, elixirs or granola, I highly recommend preparing your own. Most of the packaged milks contain no nuts at all, and unfortunately only guarantee added synthentic vitamins, fillers, binding agents and artificial flavours.

Holistic Tip: Use your fresh coconut milk to prepare one of my Superfood Elixirs. Get the Free E-Book: Superfood Teas or use this for making the filling of my dairy free StRAWberry Cheese Cake.

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Fresh Coconut Milk

2 cups coconut meat

4 cups of coconut water or purified water

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp of pink Himalayan salt

1 tbsp maple syrup (honey or 2 medjool dates, pitted )

1 tsp pure vanilla extract (or bean/powder)

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Fill blender with fresh coconut meat and cover with coconut water. Blend on high speed until smooth and all pieces are broken up.

To drain coconut milk, place a nut milk bag over a large bowl and squeeze it through. If you like, save the meat (pulp), dehydrate and use to make homemade coconut flour.

Rinse the blender. Return milk to blender. Add cinnamon, salt, vanilla and sweetener of choice. Keep refrigerated and drink within 3-5 days.

Want to try something tasty?

Blend with 1 ripe organic banana for a creamier, sweeter milk.

Mexican Night…and its all Raw!

It’s a raw Mexican Fiesta! Tonight we served walnut-sunflower seed taco meat wrapped in collard greens from the garden. These tacos are best enjoyed with a creamy cashew red-pepper cheezy sauce! …and of course, no fiesta is complete without guacamole and salsa. You can use cabbage cups or kale for the wrap.

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The texture, taste (and the look) of these tacos are so similar to your typical non-veg taco filling, so its an easy way to introduce your friends or family to meatless favourites. This recipe is enjoyed my both raw foodies, vegan and even meat lovers!

This recipe is inspired by a great friend of mine, Jamie at The Blissful Kitchen, and I have added my own touch as well.

If you’d like to reduce the amount of nuts and seeds, you can substitute with mushrooms.

TACO MEAT by Jamie www.theblissfullkitchen.com

Ingredients
1 c. sunflower seeds (or mushrooms)
1 c. walnuts
1 red onion
2 tomatoes
1 jalepeno, vein and seeds removed
1 garlic clove
1/2 c. coconut aminos or 1/4 c.  gluten free tamari
juice of one lime
1 T. cumin
1 T. chili powder
1 tsp. coriander
1/2 T. garlic powder
1 tsp. oregano
pinch of cayenne

DIRECTIONS: Pulse sunflower seeds and walnuts in food processor until a very fine, mealy consistency is achieved.  Place in bowl.  Next add remaining ingredients to food processor and pulse until well-combined and tomato and onion are finely minced.  Add food processor ingredients to bowl with seed/nut mixture; stir until well-combined.  Allow flavors to meld 1-4 hours before serving.

To serve: Scoop taco meat into collard green, kale or romaine leaf and roll into a little burrito wrap-rolling parallel to the stem and folding in the sides.  Serve with guac, salsa and ‘cheese’ sauce.

For the cheese sauce recipe above, I also added 3 Tbsp of tahini plus 3 tbsp nutritional yeast.

 

Sesame Miso Salad Dressing

This is such a tasty salad dressing for a mixed greens salad with an asian flare, or as a dressing for a slaw. When I am preparing an asian flavoured salad, I like to use spicy leafy greens like arugula, or mustard greens and add in bok choy leaves and kale for the base. Garnish the salad with radishes, cucumber, peppers, sliced almonds or peanuts and your favourite sprouts. I love to enjoy this salad with my raw pad thai !

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Sesame Miso Dressing 

2 TBSP MISO PASTE

3 TBSP SESAME OIL

2 TBSP EXTRA VIRGIN COCONUT OIL

2 TBSP RICE VINEGAR

2 TBSP WATER

1.5 TSP FRESHLY GRATED GINGER ROOT

1 MEDIUM GARLIC CLOVE

½ TSP MAPLE SYRUP, HONEY OR AGAVE

PINCH OF CAYENNE

Blend all ingredients until smooth.