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. 


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


Makes 12-18 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)
  • 3/4 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. 


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!