Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Dairy Free Spinach Artichoke Dip

I've got some good news and some great news for ya. The good news... I have a dip for you that is so delicious. The GREAT news... it's dairy free! And I don't even miss the dairy. True Story.

Give this a try. Even if you "hate" cashews.

Dairy Free Spinach Artichoke Dip

  • approx. 5 oz Organic Spinach (rough chopped, more so if you don't plan to throw it in the blender)
  • 1 small sweet onion (chopped, I use my Vitamix)
  • 3-4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 Tbps Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbps lemon juice (approx one lemon)
  • 1 jar of marinated artichoke hearts (approx 12-15oz), chopped.
  • 1-1 1/2 cup of cashew cream*

1) Saute the spinach, onions, garlic and EVOO in a pan until spinach has wilted nicely.
2) Add in the sea salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, dijon mustard, lemon juice and artichoke hearts. Stir.
3) Add in the cashew cream and stir until combined.
4) Eat cold or bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes. I love it warm straight from the oven. 

NOTE:  I use my Vitamix to make this. After I have made the cashew cream I add in all the stuff from the oven pan (which I don't bother chopping my spinach much or the artichoke hearts because the Vitamix will do that) I coarsely chop on #4 until it's the consistency I like. Then I pour directly into oven dish. So simple!

*Cashew Cream:

Soak 3/4-1 cup of cashew in enough filtered water to cover them for AT LEAST 2 hours or overnight (especially if you don't have high speed blender they will need to soak longer).

Drain and rinse and add to blender with 1/2 cup of filtered water. Blend on high until it's smooth and creamy. You can add more if you need to to get it to the creamy consistency. 


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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Carrot Cake Muffins

My daughter and I created these together. We think they turned out great. If you are gluten free you could try making these will oat flour. Or a mix of your two favorite gluten free flours.

They turned out very moist which is great when working with wheat flour. This is a GREAT way to get some veggies in your morning or on the go! Plus, coconut oil is said to help reduce appetite. Win Win!

Carrot Cake Muffins

  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup coconut sugar (I like to grind mine in the Vitamix)
  • 1 Tbps cinnamon
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt 
  • 1 Tbps pure vanilla extract (read the ingredients not the front label)
  • 1 cup raw pecans
  • 6 dates (if you don't have these, then add more coconut sugar by 1/4-1/2 cup)
  • 1 cup pure pineapple juice (or you could just grind pineapple into a liquid in your Vitamix)
  • 1 cup Organic Coconut Oil, unrefined. (My favorite is Barlean's but I often use Costco Organic due to budget and the amount we go through)
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 cups grated carrots (I chopped mine in the Vitamix instead)


Preheat the oven to 350.

1) Mix the flour, coconut sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and sea salt in a bowl. Set aside. 
2) Add pineapple juice, pecans, vanilla and dates to high speed blender (I'm obsessed with my Vitamix) and blend until smooth. You can leave it chunkier if you wish but my kids don't care for nuts in their muffins so I hide them.
3) Whisk the eggs together and gradually add in the coconut oil (You will need to melt the coconut oil, but don't get it too warm and cook the eggs)
4) Add items from steps 2 and 3 to the bowl in step 1. Mix until incorporated.
5) Fold in the carrots.
6) Scoop into muffin tins and bake for 15-20 minutes (until toothpick comes out clean)

NOTES: When using whole wheat flour you need to move quickly, so don't make it and walk away. Or forget you are even baking muffins in the first place.  It will lead to firm muffins. You need to scoop it right after it is mixed.  

My baking isn't rocket science. If it isn't easy, them I'm not doing it! With that being said, if you don't have coconut sugar you could use raw cane sugar instead. You could even try honey instead of coconut sugar (which is a great choice).  It's all about finding what you want to sweeten the muffins with that is considered clean. 

Also, keep in mind my family is off refined sugar. This muffins are plenty sweet to us but that may not be the case for someone just starting to {eat clean}. You can always add more dates to help sweeten and get more fiber in the process. Everyone needs a little more fiber in their life. 


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Monday, July 7, 2014

Canola Oil {why to avoid it}

A fellow Clean Freak brought up the point of Canola Oil containing GMOs. I thought I would make sure you all know this fact and other reasons why you should avoid it. Choosing the right oil is very important when eating clean and working towards optimal health.

Let's start off with this...Canola Oil = BAD FAT

Olive oil comes from olives, Coconut oil comes from coconuts, and canola oil...comes from...well, it's derived from the rapeseed plant and then genetically modified.

In 1956, when it was still called rapeseed oil the FDA banned the produced because it was too toxic for human consumption. Years later in the 1970s they lowered the toxic erucic acid and introduced it as Canola Oil.  Canola oil is coined from "Canadian oil, low acid". That's right, it's a Canadian invention!

Read more here: 
Stop Using Canola Oil

and here's another link:
Don't Let Organic Cooking Oils Fool You 

Just make sure you read up and know the facts!  

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

{gluten free & dairy free} Clean Brownies

I have only made this recipe in mini bite size Silicone molds.  It was a huge hit and they are perfect for fitting into the kid's Planetbox lunch system.

This recipe is sweetened only with dates and coconut sugar.

{gluten free & dairy free} Clean Brownies

  • 1/4 cup Organic (cold pressed) Coconut Oil (I love Barlean's), melted
  • 1/2 cup Water + 12 pitted dates (blended in Vitamix until creamy)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup Organic Coconut Sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I recommend Ghirardelli)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup Millet Flour
Optional: I added 5 mini Enjoy Life dairy free chocolates on top of each before baking. 


1) Mix coconut oil, "date water", 2 eggs, coconut sugar, and vanilla extract together in a large bowl.
2) In a small bowl mix the cocoa powder, baking powder, sea salt, and millet flour.
3) Add the dry to the wet and mix well.
4) Add batter to whatever baking dish you will be using (spray with oil). I'm guessing 9 x 9 pan if you are going a full pan brownie route. I will have to update that later if I try it. 
5) Bake at 350 until toothpick comes out clean. Approx 13-18 minutes.
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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Dairy Free Cinnamon Rolls

I have yet to come up with an icing for this but I wanted to get it posted for you. My kids both liked them without icing, but, of course,  love icing (aka more sugar) and would LOVE it even more then. 

Dairy Free Cinnamon Rolls

  • 2 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup powdered cane sugar (or try regular cane sugar)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 3-5 Tbps Coconut Oil (I recommend Barlean's) + a little extra (or use organic butter)
  • 3/4 Coconut Milk, Vanilla (I used sweetened)
  • 1/2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2 1/4 tsp yeast
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar (grounded to fine preferred)
  • 2 Tbps cinnamon

1) Add flour, sugar, salt and coconut oil to a bowl and combine. (I melted my coconut oil first)
2) Heat the 3/4 cup of coconut milk for 45 seconds in microwave to reach around 120 degrees.  Add vanilla and yeast to milk and let sit for about 2-3 minutes. It will look frothy.
3)Add the wet to the dry. Mix well. Then knead if necessary for a couple of minutes until it can form a ball.
4) Roll out on a floured surface to about 1/4 inch thick rectangle that is about 12 inches long. (make more out of the scraps, until all is gone)
5) Combine the coconut sugar and cinnamon in a Vitamix or any blender (or simple mix by hand without)
6) Coat the dough with melted coconut oil with your fingers (or brush). Sprinkle heavily with the coconut sugar/cinnamon mixture.
7) Cut long strips in the dough (about 1 inch wide).
8) Roll the strips into a cinnamon roll shape and place on a nonstick pan.
9) Bake at 350 for about 13-15 minutes.

NOTE: I had leftover coconut sugar/cinnamon mixture I will save for another recipe. 

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Monday, February 10, 2014

{clean} Biscuits/Rolls

It is VERY hard to find clean biscuits and rolls out there! I am so glad this recipe I found is both simple and delicious. Give it a try. This would be great for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!

{clean} Biscuits/Rolls

(adaped from

  • 1 cup white UNBLEACHED flour
  • 1 cup white whole wheat
  • 1/4 cup raw cane sugar*
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil or 3 tablespoons organic butter
  • 1/4 ounce dry yeast (2 l/4 tsp)
  • 3/4 cup lukewarm water


1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2)In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, salt and oil, shortening or butter.
3)Dissolve the yeast in the water and add to flour mixture.
4)Knead slightly.
5)Roll out on lightly floured board to 3/4 inch thick.
6)Cut with a cookie cutter and place on greased baking sheet, cover and let stand for 30 minutes.
7)Bake in preheated 350 degree oven 10-15 minutes (depending on thickness), until golden.


I used powdered sugar made from blending my raw sugar in the Vitamix to a fine powder. I like to keep this on hand now as I think it works AWESOME!  

I used butter this time around. I will probably try it with coconut oil at some point.  

The picture is what it would look like if you rolled the dough too thin like I did the first time. Still good. Also, I let mine rise about 60 minutes. I had leftover white flour to use up. I need to try this with all white WHOLE wheat and see how they rise and bake. 

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Cinnamon Baked Donut with Sugar Glaze

I have no idea why I have decided to start making donuts again...but I have!  My kids are happy about this new found passion for all things donut!

I found a donut tin at Goodwill a couple years back (I need to keep looking for another one there!) Goodwill is a swell place to find lots of great deals on kitchen tools that need a new home. You can save a lot shopping there and chances are high that a lot of items didn't get much love in their old kitchen before landing themselves on a shelf at Goodwill.

As far as donuts go, I am going to call these a WHOLE FOOD treat.  It has WHOLE white wheat flour, it has coconut sugar instead of regular sugar, it has a whole pear in the recipe and is dairy free! And I should mention the's baked not fried.

Now, remember I said TREAT, this is not something I recommend you eat daily, but compared to donuts elsewhere there is no comparison to nutrients in this donut! And, in my world, I don't think there is much you should have to live without! 

Cinnamon Baked Donut with Sugar Glaze

Adapted from: JoyTheBaker

Makes 6 donuts

For the Donuts:
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar (see notes)
  • 2 Tbps Extra Virgin Cold Pressed UNrefined Coconut oil (I recommend Barlean's), melted
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 pear or apple (grated, minced, or pulverized by the Vitamix)

For the Glaze:
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar (see notes)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1-3 tsp of unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


1)  Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Lightly grease a doughnut pan and set aside.

2)  In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, spices, and coconut sugar.  Set aside.

3) In a smaller bowl whisk together coconut oil, vanilla, milk, pear/apple and egg. Add to dry ingredients.

4) Stir together until no flour bits remain and all of the ingredients are well combined.  Try not to overmix the batter.  That might create rubbery doughnuts.

5) Use a small spoon to dollop batter into the prepared pan.  Smooth out and fill each doughnut in the pan three-quarters full with batter.

6) Place in the oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes.  Keep an eye on them and try not to over-bake them.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.

While the doughnuts cool, make the glaze.

1) In a small bowl whisk together the powdered coconut sugar, salt, vanilla and milk.  Start out with 1 tsp of milk and add more if needed.

Once the doughnuts are completely cool, use a butter knife to spread each doughnut with glaze.  Allow to rest for 15 minutes in the fridge to harden the glaze.  These doughnuts are best serve the day they’re made.  


NOTES: When baking with coconut sugar I like to blend the coconut sugar into a super fine powder in the Vitamix. I am sure a Magic Bullet would work great too! Make sure when melting the Coconut Oil not to over heat because you don't want to be cooking that egg when you add them together. 

Coconut sugar is rich in nutrients. It is especially high in potassium, and containing almost 10,300 milligrams per liter of coconut sugar. With the same measurement of milligrams per liter, there are 2,020 milligrams of nitrogen, 790 milligrams of phosphorus, 60 of calcium, 290 of magnesium, 450 of sodium, 4,700 of chlorine, 260 of sulfur and also trace amounts of boron, zinc, manganese, iron and copper

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