The Essentials is a series of recipes and tips that will inspire you to stay sugar free without changing your daily routine. Ok, you have decided to take on the challenge of going sugar free for the month of September. You committed to yourself that you could 1) avoid store bought sugary baked goods, 2) that you are going to replace soda pop with hydrating herb and fruit infused water and 3) you are going to attempt making your own sauces, condiments and dressings at home…
BUT.. then you remember… you favourite morning ritual… your coffee (w/sugar!) No need to worry, I got you covered with this creamy, silky and sweet morning brew… I can assure you, you will not be missing your double double!
After brewing your morning cup (or 2) of coffee, add it to your blender with 1 tbsp of virgin coconut oil, 1 tbsp maple syrup, 1/2 tsp cinnamon and optional 1 tsp of cacao. Blending the coffee with coconut oil turns it into a creamy latte, while giving you a dose of your healthy fats. The added cinnamon helps to balance blood sugar levels and the cacao is a great magnesium and energy boost.
Not a coffee drinker? Try one of my Superfood Latte Teas (click for free e-book with 5 recipes!) for a morning boost like Maple Chaga, Matcha-Maca, or Turmeric Chai! They are all dairy free and prepared with your choice of coconut or almond milk. You could also experiment with using an all natural coffee replacement such as Dandy Blend.
Turmeric Chai Superfood Tea
These little divine bites are my “go to” recipe. They are perfect size for dessert, or an afternoon energy boost. They are sweetened with dates and contain the benefits of raw cacao. High quality chocolate, in its pure, natural state, is actually good for you! Let’s celebrate. Cacao is one of the worlds most antioxidant-rich superfoods, is high in magnesium (an important mineral for calcium absorption, especially for women) and offers a variety of benefits for cardio vascular health. Cacao is also rich in tryptophan and has the ability to open the heart and spirit, therefore acting as a mood elevator. If you had to, you could replace the raw cacao with cocoa (the roasted version of the bean).
1 cup raw cacao
2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
20 pitted dates
1/3 cup water
1/3 unrefined, extra virgin coconut oil1/4 chopped almonds, walnuts or nuts of choice
Dash of vanilla
Pinch of cinnamon
Pinch of sea salt
For rolling truffles
Shredded coconut, hemp hearts or chia seeds
Almonds, goji berries
Soak dates in 1 cup of warm water for at least 10 minutes.
While dates are soaking, in the food processor mix 1 cup of coconut with coconut oil. Add cacao, water, nuts, vanilla, cinnamon and salt. Drain water from dates (save water) and add dates into the food processors. If the mixture is too dry, add some of the date water.
Mix until well combined. Mould into balls and roll in either shredded coconut, hemp hearts, or chia seeds. Top with almond or goji berry.
Place in fridge to set for 30 minutes before serving.
Makes 12-15 balls
In 2013, I had the opportunity to design and publish Shanti Retreat’s first cookbook. I selected all the recipes, wrote the forward, came up with the design and assisted in all steps of production until it came to realization.
Shanti at Home is a collection of the retreat’s favourite recipes from the past and present. The recipes are vegetarian and focus on cooking at home with whole foods which are local and seasonal. The photography is absolutely incredible, as is the page design, thanks to Anne and Alex who volunteered their time and skills.
I love how light and fluffy this biscuit is, even though it is made with spelt. The recipe contains high quality coconut oil, is dairy free and sweetened with maple syrup. You can also prepare this with buckwheat flour but they do tend to fall apart more easily than when prepared with spelt. Spelt is an ancient grain which is easier to digest compared to wheat, and also contains a higher amount of protein.
What I love is how versatile they are too. I like to leave out the herbs and add a bit more maple syrup and orange zest for a breakfast biscuit or cake for strawberry shortcake with coconut whipped cream!
Herb Garden Biscuits
- 2 cups light spelt flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ½ cup fresh herbs or ½ cup dry (We like to use parsley, rosemary, basil, oregano and sometimes use even up to 1 cup of fresh herbs)
- ½ cup coconut oil
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- ¾ cup of almond or soy milk
- 1 tsp maple syrup
Preheat oven to 450 °F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder and soda and salt in a large bowl. Add the herbs and whisk again. Cut in the oil using a pastry cutter until a coarse meal is formed. In a small bowl, add the apple cider vinegar to the almond milk. Add maple syrup and then combine with dry ingredients.
The mixture will resemble a muffin batter; add more almond milk if necessary.
For the next step, we use a large trigger ice cream scoop and scoop the batter onto the parchment paper. Place in the oven for 10 – 12 minutes.
Makes 10-12 biscuits
Please visit Shanti Retreat’s homepage to order your copy of Shanti at Home.