Raw Orange Date Squares

This is one of my favorite desserts. My friends are very surprised when I say that because they know how much I love chocolate and having a non-chocolate dessert as my favorite is unthinkable. It is very easy to make and it is simply delicious. You can leave it in the freezer and pull it out as you need it. You can let it sit for 5 minutes and it is ready to eat.

Ingredients:
Filling
2 cups chopped, pitted dates
2 Tbsp. water
Juice of 1 large, unwaxed orange (1/2 to 3/4 cup)
Zest of 1 large, unwaxed orange
Quick oats for sprinkling (optional)

Crust:
2 cups pecans or walnuts (I used 1 cup of each)
1 cup raw oats ground in a coffee grinder or oat flour
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
4 Tbsp pure maple syrup

Direction

  1. Soak dates in water and orange juice for 30 to 60 minutes, depending on quickly they soften.
  2. Coarsely grind nuts in a food processor. Add ground oats or oat flour and pulse to mix.
  3. Add cinnamon first, then maple syrup one tablespoon at a time until the mixture holds together.
  4. Lightly oil a 9-inch square pan or round cake pan with coconut or olive oil
  5. Press a little over half of the nut mixture into the bottom of the pan, reserving the rest for later.
  6. Sprinkle the orange zest onto the crust.
  7. Puree the date and orange juice mixture until it reaches the desired consistency. I left a few larger pieces of dates for texture, but you can blend them to a perfectly smooth texture too.
  8. Pour the date mixture over the crust.
  9. Crumble the remaining half of the crust mixture over the dates; press lightly with your hands of a spoon. Sprinkle some quick oats on top for garnish (this is optional, but looks nice).
  10. Refrigerate to set.

Enjoy

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Raw Chocolate – Walnut Fudge

This fudge is ridiculously easy to make and delicious (addictive really, I had to stop making it because I couldn’t help myself).  It has a melt-in-your-mouth texture thanks to the coconut oil and can be eaten directly out of the fridge or freezer (which means that even keeping it in the freezer didn’t slow me down!). Enjoy these amazing little bites of creamy chocolate.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups extra virgin coconut oil (not melted)
  • 1 cup raw or natural unsweetened Cacao Powder
  • 1/3 cup Grade B Maple Syrup (you could also substitute Honey)
  • 1½ cups Walnuts (Raw or Roasted), roughly chopped
  1. Whip coconut oil in the bowl of a standing mixer until fluffy (2-3 minutes).
  2. Add cocoa powder and maple syrup and continue to whip until completely combined (about 1 minute, but you might need to scrape the sides a couple of times).
  3. Add chopped walnuts and mix just to combine.
  4. Spread into a 9”x9” baking pan.  Chill in the refrigerator until set (at least 1 hour).
  5. Cut into squares and enjoy (store in the fridge or freezer).

Serve here with Coconut whipped cream.

NOTE: Because the coconut hardens in the refrigerator, it can be a little tricky to cut nice squares when it hard (it becomes quite brittle), it will help to pre-cut the squares in the pan before they are completely set (say after about 20 minutes in the fridge).

Enjoy

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DIY projects – Make your own sunscreens

First choose your SPF

Different amounts of zinc oxide are needed depending on what SPF you would like your lotion to be. Once you have chosen the SPF a little math is involved. The zinc oxide must be a certain percentage of the weight of your ingredients (before adding the zinc oxide). For this reason, it’s easiest to use a kitchen scale when making your sunscreen. For example, if you have 2 ounces of lotion and you’d like to make SPF 10 sunscreen, according to the values below you will need to add .2 ounces of zinc oxide to the lotion. Use the zinc oxide recommendations below. Make sure to put on a mask when handling zinc oxide to avoid breathing in the fine particles of zinc oxide powder.

For SPF 2-5: Use 5% zinc oxide
For SPF 6-11: Use 10% zinc oxide
For SPF 12-19: Use 15% zinc oxide
For SPF >20: Use 20% zinc oxide

Zinc oxide (non-nano) – a non-toxic, usually non-irritating, effective broad spectrum sunblock. The particles sit on the outermost layer of your skin, scattering and absorbing UVA and UVB rays, protecting the skin below. Be sure to use non-nano zinc oxide to produce a natural homemade sunscreen.

Important: Nano or micronized zinc oxide has been treated to reduce the size of its particles, creating an ultrafine powder. When added to sunscreens it does not leave a white film on the skin, thus making it a popular choice in many commercial sunscreens. The problem with this is that the particles are so small they can enter the body through the skin, causing potential health problems. When shopping for zinc oxide be sure to purchase a non-nano zinc oxide that has particle sizes as large as possible. (Anything with a particle size smaller than 100nm is considered a nano.)

 

Recipe #1

Ingredients:
2 tbs organic coconut oil
1 tbs organic shea butter
1 tbs organic avocado oil
1/2 tsp organic sesame oil
1/2 tsp organic aloe vera gel
30 drops organic carrot seed oil

Directions:
Melt the coconut oil and shea butter in a double boiler by putting the oils in a bowl that is placed in a pan of hot water.
Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
Pour the oil into a clean glass jar and let the mixture cool down.

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Recipe #2

Ingredients:
1 oz. coconut oil
0.8 oz. shea butter
0.1 oz. jojoba, sesame, or sunflower oil
0.1 oz. Vitamin E oil
30 drops essential oils, optional – I use 15 lavender, 10 eucalyptus, 5 peppermint
zinc oxide powder (determine amount for 2 oz. of lotion)

Directions:
Add coconut oil, shea butter, and jojoba/sesame/sunflower oil in a double boiler by putting the oils in a bowl that is placed in a pan of hot water. Remove from double boiler and allow to cool a little. Put on a mask that covers your nose and mouth (to avoid breathing in the fine particles of zinc oxide powder), and measure out your zinc oxide. Add zinc oxide, Vitamin E oil, and optional essential oils to the other ingredients. Stir well to combine. Store in a dark jar in the refrigerator.

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Recipe #3

Ingredients:
½ cup almond or olive oil (can infuse with herbs first if desired)
¼ cup coconut oil (natural SPF 4)
¼ cup beeswax
2 Tablespoons Zinc Oxide (This is a non-nano version that won’t be absorbed into the skin. Be careful not to inhale the powder).
Optional: up to 1 teaspoon Red Raspberry Seed Oil
Optional: up to 1 teaspoon Carrot Seed Oil
Optional: up to 1 teaspoon Vitamin E oil
Optional: 2 tablespoons Shea Butter (natural SPF 4-5)
Optional: Essential Oils, Vanilla Extract or other natural extracts to suit your preference

Directions:
Combine ingredients except zinc oxide oil in a double boiler by putting them in a bowl that is placed in a pan of hot water. As the water heats, the ingredients in the bowl will start to melt. Stir occasionally to incorporate. When all ingredients are completely melted, add the zinc oxide, stir in well and pour into whatever jar or tin you will use for storage. Small mason jars (pint size) are great for this. It will not pump well in a lotion pump!
Stir a few times as it cools to make sure zinc oxide is incorporated.
Use as you would regular sunscreen. Best if used within six months.

Thanks to:

A Natural Homemade Sunscreen Recipe That Works!


http://wellnessmama.com/2558/homemade-sunscreen/
http://greatbodyskin.com/natural-sunblock-recipe/

Coconut yogurt power breakfast

I have decided to share one of my favorite breakfast creations. I like to call it “Coconut yogurt power breakfast”.

It is something that makes me smile in the morning and keep me full for quite a while. You have all the goodness and energy of the young coconut and the power of superfood added to it.

I have created a video that will give you the step by step:

Ingredients:
1 Young coconut
4 Tbls chia seeds
1 Tbls pumpkin seeds
1 Tbls sunflower seeds
1 Tbls goji berries
1 Tbls dry raisins
1 Tbls walnuts
1 banana
1/2 cup mixed berries

Optional ingredients: (one or a combination of)
Raw cacao nibs
Dry cranberries
Maca powder
Lucuma
Maple syrup
Crushed nuts
Anything else you might like

Directions:
Open the young coconut as shown in the video
Blend the coconut meat and coconut water in a blender
Pour into a bowl
Add the chia seeds and mix well
Add other ingredients

Enjoy

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Raw sesame, balsamic vegetable sauce

I discovered this sauce a little while ago and I love it. It is very smooth and sweet with a little tanginess to it. I use it on many different types of vegetables. I have had great comments from my guests with that sauce. Now it is your turn to impress your friends.

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons sesame tahini
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
Sea salt to taste
Asparagus (or any vegetable)
Pine nuts for garnish

Directions:
Place all the ingredients (except the asparagus and pine nuts) in a blender and mix well.
Blanched the asparagus very lightly.
Here’s the way I do them: I use a deep pan and I boil about one inch of water. Once it is boiling I place the asparagus into the boiling water for a very short time. No more than 30 seconds. If you want to stop the cooking process, rinse them in cold water and they will stop cooking. You don’t want them soft, just a little softer than raw.
Place the asparagus on a serving plate and pour the sauce on top and garnish with pine nuts.

Note: You can use that sauce for salad dressing or on everything you like. It is very tasty.

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Chocolate Bark

Once you eat this chocolate bark you will not be able to buy a chocolate bar from the store anymore. This is so easy to make and you can’t really go wrong. You taste it as you go and you can make it exactly the way you want.

Basic ingredients:
½ cup cacao butter
½ cup cacao powder
Maple syrup to taste
Salt to taste

Optional ingredients: (one or a combination of)
Dry raisins
Dry cranberries
Pumpkin seeds
Sunflower seeds
Hemp seeds
Crushed nuts (almonds or walnuts or pecan)
Chili pepper (for a nice spicy chocolate)

Directions:
1. Place the cacao butter in a double boiler.
2. Once the cacao butter starts to melt, reduce the heat or even turn it off. You don’t want it to become hot, just melted. If it stops melting, raise the heat a little.
3. With the help of a sifter, slowly sprinkle the cacao powder on the melted cacao butter.
4. Mix the cacao butter and cacao powder together as you are sifting.
5. Add the maple syrup to the chocolate liquid and keep mixing.
6. Add salt.
7. Taste and adjust to the darkness, sweetness or salt amount to your liking.
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8. Place a parchment paper with the side raised in the bottom pan or Pyrex.
9. Uniformly sprinkle the dry fruits, nuts, and seeds in the bottom of the pan.
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10. Pour the melted chocolate mixture into the seeds and nuts.
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11. Place it in the refrigerator or freezer for 20 minutes or so. You can also sprinkle coarse salt, hemp seeds or sesame seeds on top for garnish.
12. Before it gets completely hard, you can cut into the preferred pieces sizes and place back in the refrigerator.
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Or once ready you can just break it by hand into pieces and enjoy.

The nice thing about using cacao butter is that your chocolate will not soften or melt when outside refrigerator, unlike coconut butter that melts with the temperature of your fingers and is very soft at room temperature.

Have fun and be creative.

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