Rum Balls (Plant-Based, Raw, Paleo)

Rum Balls (Plant-Based, Raw, Paleo)

DID YOU KNOW? Most traditional rum ball recipes are packed with low-quality and inflammatory ingredients like vanilla waffers, confectioners’ sugar and corn syrup.

My love for rum balls dates back to my little Jen days. My Nonna (a.k.a. Ma) use to make them for the family around Christmas time. Not sure who inspired her to make rum balls since they’re not a traditional Italian recipe, BUT I’m glad she did because they were delish!

Since my craving for rum balls is still strong, I decided to put a healthy spin on this popular treat which can be enjoyed any time of the year–not just the holidays.

Instead of using vanilla waffers, I use a combo of almond flour and shredded coconut, which creates a great gluten free base. I also kicked nasty corn syrup and confectioners’ sugar out and replaced them with a natural and pure sweetener, maple syrup.

The combination of coconut, rum and chocolate makes this a delicious treat you’ll crave all year round. Give this easy, no-bake recipe a try!

For a alcohol free and kid friendly version, omit rum and increase maple syrup to 1/2 cup.

Rum Balls

INGREDIENTS: (25-30 small balls)
1.5 cup almond flour
1 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
1/4 cup dark rum
1/4 cup raw coconut oil, melted & cooled
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/8 tsp sea salt
1-2 tbsp coconut palm sugar, to coat balls (optional)
1-2 tbsp shredded coconut, to coat balls (optional)

INGREDIENTS:

1. In a large bowl, whisk together dark rum, maple syrup and coconut oil.

2. Mix in shredded coconut, cocoa powder, almond flour and sea salt.
Add an additional almond flour (1 tbsp. at a time), if needed for a thicker consistency.

3. Using a teaspoon, scoop batter and roll into balls.

4. Optional: To coat balls, roll in coconut palm sugar or shredded coconut.

5. Store balls in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

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Turmeric Latte – a.k.a. Golden Milk

Turmeric Latte – a.k.a. Golden Milk

DID YOU KNOW? There are over 12,500 peer-reviewed articles published on the benefits of turmeric, in particular one of its powerful compounds, curcumin.

Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric. It has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant – making it great for both weight loss and IBS.

Unfortunately, the curcumin content of turmeric is not that high, so if you want to experience the full effects of this powerful compound, you need to take a supplement that contains high amounts of curcumin.

In addition, curcumin is poorly absorbed during digestion, so many different supplement formulations have been created to improve its bioavailability. Want to learn more about effective curcumin supplements? Send me a message and I’ll help guide you. 

Consuming curcumin with certain fats and/or black pepper may help to increase absorption.

I used coconut milk (a healthy fat) and added black pepper to this Turmeric Latte, so you can get the most out of your golden milk!

Turmeric Latte

INGREDIENTS: (serves 1)
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 tsp honey or coconut sugar
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp ground ceylon cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground ginger
dash of black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Add all ingredients into a small saucepan and heat on the stove. Whisk to combine ingredients. You can also add heated ingredients into a blender to combine.

2. Pour into a mug and enjoy!

Roasted Brussels Sprouts (AIP, Keto, Paleo)

Roasted Brussels Sprouts (AIP, Keto, Paleo)

DID YOU KNOW? In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Brussels sprouts are used to improve digestive health.

Just one cup of cooked Brussels sprouts provides four grams of fiber, which numerous studies show is important for digestive function.

Fiber helps to support digestive health by encouraging regular bowel movements, preventing constipation or diarrhea, and detoxifying the body by pulling toxins and waste out of the gut.

In addition, Brussels sprouts contain glucosinolates and sulforaphane. Glucosinolates can help protect the lining of the digestive tract and stomach therefore reducing the chances of developing leaky gut or other digestive disorders. Sulforaphane facilitates in the body’s detoxification process and can help prevent bacterial overgrowth from occurring in the gut.

According to TCM, it’s recommended that cruciferous veggies (like Brussels sprouts) be cooked to enhance digestion and to nourish the spleen, which can become taxed if bombarded with too many raw or cooling foods.

Try this easy and delicious recipe for Brussels sprouts. It’s vegan, paleo, keto & IBS friendly.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

INGREDIENTS: (serves 2-3)
2 lbs Brussels sprouts, halved
2 tbsp avocado oil
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 400F.

2. Toss Brussels sprouts in avocado oil, salt and pepper and spread on baking dish.

3. Cook for 30-minutes, tossing them mid-way through.

4. Once cooked, transfer to serving dish and mix in 1 tsp apple cider vinegar.

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Fried Eggs on Vegetable “Rice” (Keto, Paleo)

Fried Eggs on Vegetable “Rice” (Keto, Paleo)

When I started a gluten and grain free diet, fried eggs just weren’t the same because I missed soaking up runny yolks with bread.

Not only are egg yolks super yummy, but the yolk is also the most nutritious part of an egg – and some would argue that the yolk is what makes the egg one of the most nutrient-dense foods out there. 

So, me needing runny egg yolks in my life has lead to this delightful egg breakfast that soaks up the yolk just like bread, BUT way healthier!

For this recipe I used leftover Vegetable “Rice” that I made earlier in the week, which meant breakfast was served within 5-minutes since all I had to do was fry some eggs.

Give this nutrient-packed, low-carb breakfast a try. You won’t be disappointed – and you definitely won’t miss bread. You’ll get all the satisfaction you need from Vegetable “Rice” soaked in egg yolks!

TIP: Look for free-range eggs in your grocery store. Free range hens are allowed to roam, wander, perch and have a good quality of life, which makes a difference in the quality of their eggs. Free-range eggs are a much better option to ensure food safety & a high nutrient profile, and support ethical farming practices.

Fried Eggs on Vegetable “Rice”

INGREDIENTS: (serves 1)
2-3 pastured eggs
1 cup Vegetable “Rice”
1 tbsp avocado oil
1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
1/2 tsp. dried parsley
Salt & pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. If using leftover Vegetable “Rice”, remove from fridge and warm it up on the stove. You can also serve the vegetable rice cold or at room temperature, it doesn’t need to be heated.

2. If preparing the Vegetable “Rice” from scratch, then follow the recipe here.

3. Once the Vegetable “Rice” is ready, fry eggs in avocado oil and sprinkle with turmeric, parsley, salt and pepper while cooking. I suggest cooking the eggs sunny side up.

4. Place Vegetable “Rice” on a plate and top with fried eggs.

5. My favourite part … let those golden yolks run into the Vegetable “Rice” and enjoy!

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Ciabotta – Italian Vegetable Stew (Plant-Based, Paleo)

Ciabotta – Italian Vegetable Stew (Plant-Based, Paleo)

Ciabotta (also known as ciambotta or giambotta) is an Italian vegetable stew that is a common summer dish throughout southern Italy.

Similar to the French ratatouille, this vegetable stew is made up of seasonal Mediterranean vegetables slowly cooked down with tomatoes and finished with fresh basil.

My Nonna (a.k.a. Ma) made this dish every Summer for as long as I can remember. Although she called it peperonata (which is predominately peppers and onions), she prepared it more like ciabotta with the addition of other vegetables like eggplant and zucchini.

BUT, we won’t tell Ma that I changed the name of her famous Summer dish.

My family could always rely on Ma for containers filled with this vegetable stew, especially when the garden was overflowing with zucchini and eggplant.

She’d send my Nonno out to the garden to pick all the good stuff, while she spent hours in the kitchen (a place she truly loved to be) preparing this dish and many more. Basically, my Nonno was the gardener and Ma was the chef (and not a day passed where Ma didn’t yell at Nonno for bugging her while she was trying to cook).

Ciabotta Italian Vegetable Stew

Here’s what you need for Ciabotta (Italian vegetable stew)

Zucchini
Eggplant
Pepper (any colour works)
Onion
Garlic
Canned tomatoes (I like fire roasted tomatoes)
Olive oil
Basil

Ciabotta Italian Vegetable Stew

Give this simple and delicious ciabotta a try. It’s the perfect summer time dish and works well with meat or fish.

Pair Ciabotta with …

Ciabotta Italian Vegetable Stew

Ciabotta - Italian Vegetable Stew

Ciabotta (also known as ciambotta or giambotta) is an Italian vegetable stew that is a common summer dish in Abruzzo, as well as all throughout southern Italy. Similar to the French ratatouille, this vegetable stew is made up of seasonal Mediterranean vegetables slowly cooked down with tomatoes and finished with fresh basil.
Give this simple and delicious ciabotta a try. It's a wonderful side to meat or fish.
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Keto, Low-Carb, Paleo, Plant-Based
Servings: 4

Ingredients
 

  • 1 large zucchini, diced
  • 1 large eggplant, diced
  • 1 orange/red/yellow pepper, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 796 ml can fire roasted tomatoes, or other canned tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt, add more if desired
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • Handful of fresh basil

Instructions
 

  • Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan, then add the onion and garlic. Cook at medium heat until the onions are translucent. Keep stirring to prevent the garlic from burning.
  • Add in chopped vegetables along with the canned tomatoes and salt. Simmer on low for 1 hour. If the liquid reduces too much, add a little water.
  • Taste and season with more salt if needed and black pepper.
  • Add a handful of torn basil, drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil, mix and serve.
Keyword eggplant, Italian, peppers, stew, summer, tomatoes, zucchini

Ciabotta Italian Vegetable Stew

This dish is dedicated to my Ma... Thank you for passing on your love of cooking to me and inspiring me to create traditional Italian dishes that bring back fun family memories.

Creamy Macachino Smoothie

Creamy Macachino Smoothie

Did you know? Maca is known for its hormone balancing effects. Maca has been studied to help normalize the symptoms of premenstrual/menstrual symptoms, as well as the symptoms of menopause including hot flashes, night sweats, cramps, fatigue and lethargy. Look for gelatinized maca for easier digestion and absorption.

This Macachino makes for a great coffee substitute, mid-day snack or dessert drink since it’s rich, creamy and delicious!

Creamy Macachino Smoothie 

INGREDIENTS: (serves 1)

1 cup coconut or almond milk (unsweetened)

1 banana

1/4 avocado

1 tsp. maca powder (gelatinized)

1 tsp. cacao powder

1/2 tsp. ceylon cinnamon

2-4 ice cubes

Blend all ingredients for 60 sec & enjoy!

Boost your Macachino! Add a scoop of high-quality, collagen rich protein. You’ll be fueled for hours with this powerful combo of healthy fats and protein.