Goat Cheese Stuffed Dates Wrapped in Bacon

Goat Cheese Stuffed Dates Wrapped in Bacon

DID YOU KNOW? Goat’s milk has less lactose than cow’s milk which may make goat’s milk easier to digest for people with lactose intolerance.

In addition, goat’s milk is naturally homogenized, meaning the fat globules are small and remain suspended in the milk rather than separating out. This makes the milk easier for humans to digest.

So, if you tolerate goat dairy well and are looking for a crowd pleasing healthy appetizer to serve at your next dinner party, you’ve got to make these! The combination of sweet, savory and creamy makes this an experience that you’ll want to recreate again and again.

These stuffed dates also taste great reheated, so you can store leftovers in the fridge and reheat for later.

Goat Cheese Stuffed Dates Wrapped in Bacon

INGREDIENTS:
32 dates (pitted)
1 pack soft goat cheese
8 slices bacon (thin slices are best)

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 350F and line baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Slice bacon strips lengthwise then slice them in half. You’ll end up with a total of 32 smaller strips.

3. Using a small spoon (espresso size), stuff goat cheese into dates.

4. Wrap each date with a bacon strip and place on baking sheet. If bacon strips are thin enough the wrap should hold when placed on the baking sheet. If not, insert a toothpick to hold the bacon in place.

5. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool before popping these babies!

Coconut Matcha Protein Balls (AIP, Paleo)

Coconut Matcha Protein Balls (AIP, Paleo)

3 ways coconut oil can support weight loss

#1 BOOSTS METABOLISM

Coconut oil is high in MCTs (medium chain triglycerides), which are fatty acids that are metabolized differently than most other fats, leading to beneficial effects on metabolism.

Several studies confirm that when humans replace the fats they are eating with MCT fats, they burn more calories.

Therefore, a calorie from coconut oil is NOT the same as a calorie from olive oil or butter (although these fats are perfectly healthy too).

#2 REDUCES APPETITE 

Many studies on MCTs show that compared to the same amount of calories from other fats, MCTs increase feelings of fullness and lead to a reduction in calorie intake.

So, coconut oil boosts fat burning (“calories out”) and it also reduces appetite (“calories in”).

#3 SHRINKS BELLY FAT

Eating coconut is particularly effective at reducing the harmful belly fat in the abdominal cavity, which is strongly associated with disease.

Studies also show that MCTs lead to weight loss, but the weight loss effects of coconut oil appear to be fairly mild, except for the abdominal fat.

Now give these delicious, coconut-rich protein balls a try! They’re AIP, Paleo & IBS friendly.

Coconut Matcha Protein Balls

INGREDIENTS: (app. 20 balls)
1 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened)
1/2 cup tiger nut flour (or almond flour if not following AIP)
4 tbsp PurePaleo Protein powder (vanilla)
2 tsp matcha green tea
4 pitted dates (soaked for a few minutes)
1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
1/2 cup coconut butter/manna (melted)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Add all ingredients into a food processor and process until ingredients start to stick together. If mixture is too dry, add 1 tsp of coconut butter or oil at a time. If mixture is too wet, add 1 tsp of tiger nut flour (or almond flour) at a time.

2. Scoop out mixture with a tablespoon, press firmly together then roll into balls.

3. Enjoy right away or store in an airtight container for later.

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SmartSweets: Healthy sugar free candy to satisfy your sweet tooth

SmartSweets: Healthy sugar free candy to satisfy your sweet tooth

Do you remember the days when you use to ride your pedal bike out to the local convenience store, pull out couch change from your pockets and go to town on Sour Keys, Fun Dip, Ring Pops, Big Foot – and a giant Freezie if you had enough coin?!?!

If I had to draw “Jen’s Food Plate” (from age 4 to 24), I’m certain 50% of that plate consisted of candy. No doubt about it, I was hooked on the white crystals.

Going back to my little Jen days, I remember Halloween (and the months following) being a VERY stressful time of the year for me. I turned into a top secret agent trying to hide my hard earned candy from my three sugar hungry brothers!

I’d hide out under tables and in closets munching on Mars bars and Skittles, hoping that no one would see me or the killer hiding spots I had for my sack of gold (aka. plastic grocery bag of sugar). AND if my brothers managed to find and tap into my stash, little Jen grew mean and Sour Ball green!

My days of popping Cherry Blasters should have ended in my teens, BUT instead, University was the peak of my sugar addiction! I remember late night candy runs to the 7 Eleven down the street from my dorm. My roommates and I would load up on bags of candy to get us through our late night study sessions.

Then check out this brilliant move I made … during my last years of school, I moved into a condo that had a Tutti Frutti candy store attached to it! Let’s just say, things spiraled down at that point – and it didn’t look as pretty as the spiral on a Lollipop.

You might be wondering what happened after my University days? Well, the muffin top growing out of my jeans was enough for me to kick my 20 + years of sugar addiction. “Jen’s Food Plate” from age 25 onward changed drastically – and so did my health because of it.

Knowing what I know now, I realize that all the refined sugar I was consuming (in combination with other low-quality foods) had a lot to do with issues I was dealing with like acne, psoriasis, messed up and painful periods, mood swings, fatigue, weight gain, and IBS.

I was able to correct many of these issues by cleaning up my diet and steering clear of “foods” that contained refined sugars. I never want to go down the path of sugar addiction again so I do my best to avoid foods that may be a trigger for me.

FAQ ..

Q: Do you miss candy?
A: Um, ya! Who wouldn’t?! ?

Q: Was it hard to kick your sugar cravings?
A: Yes, but only for the first 2-weeks or so, then I was able to re-engage with society. ?

Q: What do you eat now when you crave candy while binge watching Game of Thrones with your BF?
A: SmartSweets!!! ?

That’s right, I eat candy again – and I’m proud of it!

I never thought I’d see the day where I’d be munching on a bag of Gummy Bears or Sweet Fish (my personal favourite) and not feel guilty or shitty for it.

SmartSweets are brilliant – and I highly recommend them if you’re looking for a healthy, sugar free candy to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Here’s why SmartSweets are my go-to candy:

  • Free from added sugar & sugar alcohols
  • ONLY 3 grams of natural sugar per bag
  • 28 grams of dietary fiber per bag
  • ONLY 80-90 calories per bag
  • No artificial colours or flavours
  • Non-GMO and soy free
  • Gluten & dairy free
  • Paleo, vegan & keto friendly
  • IBS & gut friendly
  • Founded in Canada

Find awesome online prices on SmartSweets HERE!

Or find them in-store using the SmartSweets store locator.

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VARIETIES & INGREDIENTS:

FRUITY GUMMY BEARS: Soluble fibre from tapioca, gelatin, chicory root fibre, citric acid, malic acid, fruit and vegetable juice (for colour), natural fruit flavour, coconut oil, stevia leaf extract, carnauba wax. GET IT HERE!

SOUR GUMMY BEARS: Soluble fibre from tapioca, chicory root fiber, gelatin, lactic acid, citric acid, rice flour, malic acid, fumaric acid, natural fruit flavor, fruit and vegetable juice (for color), coconut oil, stevia, carnauba wax. GET IT HERE!

SWEET FISH: Soluble fibre from tapioca, pectin, natural fruit flavor, citric acid, malic acid, carrageenan, fruity and vegetable juice (for color), coconut oil, stevia leaf extract, carnauba wax. GET IT HERE!

SOUR BLAST BUDDIES: Soluble fibre from tapioca, lactic acid, pectin, chicory root fiber, rice flour, fumaric acid, malic acid, citric acid, fruity and vegetable juice (for color), natural fruit flavor, coconut oil, carrageenan, spirulina extract (for color), stevia leaf extract, carnauba wax. GET IT HERE!

Want to try them all?!?! Get SmartSweets Variety Bundle and save even more!

Chocolate Chunk Banana Muffins (Gluten & Grain Free, Paleo)

Chocolate Chunk Banana Muffins (Gluten & Grain Free, Paleo)

I got 99 problems and dunking these muffins into espresso is one!

Good thing I’m quick to eat them. That solves my problem fast ?

These delicious gluten free paleo muffins make for a great grab-and-go breakfast or snack.

Loaded with all the good stuff including quality protein and healthy fats that will keep you fueled until your next meal.

You can make a batch, freeze them and grab one whenever you need quick and healthy fuel. They thaw out pretty quick. Or store them in the fridge if you plan on consuming them within a week or so.

Do you have an allergy or intolerance to eggs? Use one of the egg substitutes below:

  • 1 tbsp ground flax + 3 tbsp water (whisk until gelatinous and creamy) = 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds + 3 tbsp water (Stir and allow to rest for 15 minutes) = 1 egg

Love this recipe? Then you’ve got to try my Double Chocolate Banana Muffins!

Chocolate Chunk Banana Muffins

INGREDIENTS: (12 medium sized muffins)
4 pastured eggs*
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1 tbsp honey or maple syrup (optional)
1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
1/2 cup coconut flour, sifted
1/2 cup almond flour, sifted
1 tsp ceylon cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 dark chocolate bar (85% or higher, chopped into chunks)

*Substitute with 4 flax eggs or 4 chia eggs for egg free version.

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease muffin tin with coconut oil or use liners.

2. Beat eggs in bowl, mash bananas with a fork on a plate, then add all wet ingredients together and mix thoroughly.

3. Mix all dry ingredients in a separate bowl then add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and continue to mix until a thick smooth batter is formed.

TIME SAVER TIP: Use a food processor for steps 2 & 3 if you have one.

4. Add chocolate chunks into the batter and mix (save some to add on top).

5. Fill muffin tins 3/4 of the way with batter. Top with remaining chocolate chunks.

6. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Let cool before removing from tray.