gluten free

Superfood Breakfast Bowl

Dear Leah Renee,

This question is a little broad, but it seems like you eat so healthfully most of the time.  How are you so disciplined and what makes you stick to it? ~Ally, Seattle WA

Firstly, thank you!  I’m certainly not perfect all the time and I will dive into a bowl of peanut M&M’s if they’re there–nasty food coloring, sugar, and all!  There will come times of temptations, going on a vacation, and social gatherings that you should most definitely enjoy yourself, whatever that means to you.  For the most part, in daily life, I choose to eat foods that are nutrient dense.

The biggest reason I eat the way I do: it makes me feel SO good. For me, it’s not even a question.  I want to feel good.  I want to feel energized.  I want nice skin.  I desire a strong body.  I like to be in a good mood.  Each and every day, I look to acheive that.  There are many ways to do so, but one of the power players in the equation is how you nourish yourself with food.  It’s a choice– yours, mine, and one that I am happy to make.

One of the most energizing and nourishing meals I consume is at the beginning of the day.  After I’ve had a cup of warm water with lemon, I make a super-food smoothie bowl (I don’t know if this is a term, but this is what I’m calling it!).  It looks like this:

brekky bowl
There’s a lot of goodness that goes into this, and the beauty of it is that the options are endless!  Sometimes I mix it up daily while other times I go on kicks of making it the same for weeks.  Depending on what’s in season, what’s on special, and what’s speaking to me that day determines some of the ingredients.  Here is what I put into my Vitamix to make the ice cream-like foundation (the green stuff!):
smoothie ingredients
Ingredients:
  • 1 scoop of Barleans Greens
  • 1/4 cup coconut water
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen organic spinach
  • 1/2 large ripe banana, frozen
  • small nob of organic cucumber
  • 1 tsp of matcha powder
  • 1 stick organic celery
  • Toppings of choice!  The toppings shown in the picture are: hemp hearts, organic blueberries, brazil nuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, and pepitas.

Directions:

Using a high speed blender or food processor (I use a Vitamix), put all the ingredients, except for toppings, starting with the liquid in.  I start on a low setting and work my way up, using the masher so help the process along.  I like the consistency of ice cream, so that means being patient and adding liquid if/as needed!  Blend until smooth.  Add toppings of choice!

Endless possibilities for both the base and toppings include: protein powder (I like hemp), maca powder, flaxseeds, peanut (or any nut) butter, pineapple, strawberries, blackberries, cacao nibs, avocado, coconut oil, kiwi, spirulina, kale, oats/granola, acai, goji berries, mango, romaine lettuce, pear, and many more!!!

What makes this super you ask?  Here’s a breakdown of what you’re gaining from this bowl:

  • Spinach: Rich in Vitamins A, C, and K.  High in manganese, folate, magnesium, and iron. That means healthy skin, blood, energy, muscles, and hair.
  • Coconut Water: Potassium, electrolytes, enzymes, Vitamin C.  Translation: energy, beauty, hydration, recovery.
  • Almond Milk: Calcium.  Strong bones!!!
  • Banana: Potassium, B6, fiber.  These guys will help you prevent high blood pressure, aid in elimination of waste through the body, and aid in the metabolism of carbohydrates.
  • Cucumber: Vitamin K and flavonoids.  That means healthy blood and lots of super rich antioxidants and anti-inflammatory benefits.  Eat them with the skin on!!!
  • Celery: Digestive tract support (digestion), antioxidants, anti-inflammatory.
  • Matcha (green tea) Powder: High in antioxidants, catechins, L-theanine.  What this means for you is strong immunity, detoxification, energy, good mood, and concentration!  Yes, please!
  • Powdered Greens: In this case, Barleans brand, is a great top-up on anything you may otherwise miss out on.  This is basically a multi-vitamin packed with vitamins and minerals that can help energize and alkalize your body.  It most often also includes chlorella, wheatgrass, and spirulina which have incredible health benefits including vitality and detoxification.

Now go enjoy some superfoods for an even more super-you! 🙂

What are your favorite superfoods?!  I’d love to know!!!

 

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Bites (Raw, Gluten Free)

It was time for something sweet and I felt like whipping up something.  It came to mind I had yet to make a dessert using garbanzo beans (aka chickpea’s) so I searched the Internet for a good recipe.  It lead me to Texan Erin Baking, an amazing website where you can find healthier versions of not-so-healthy sweets (see my article here)!

I’m a fan of not-so-healthy sweets too.  I realize there are ingredients that aren’t good for me, but….I’m NEVER going to entirely give up peanut (or peanut butter or mint) M&M’s.  My eating habits are healthy 95% of the time–I will save the 5% for those once in a blue moon!  I have to say I REALLY liked these little dough bites.  I’m going to throw out a few tips though from my own experience.

Chickpea cookies

  • These are definitely best as BITES!  I tried to make cookies out of them–bad idea!  They’re too crumbly and are really best as little poppers!
  • I did NOT use vegan chocolate chips, just plain ‘ol real chocolate, so they are not dairy free.  I love chocolate too much and until the day I cannot tolerate dairy, chocolate will always be involved.  They are still grain free and gluten free!!!
  • I used maple syrup instead of honey.
  • The recipe calls for a high speed blender.  I do have a Vitamix but knowing how gooey they’d get I actually used my hand blender.
  • If you prefer to just eat it as cookie dough–I highly recommend!  I only made half the batch and saved the rest, I liked it that way even more.
  • You can use almond butter or other types in place of peanut butter, just make sure it’s all natural (I used peanut butter).

image_2

Here is the recipe (from TexanErin):

Grain-free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites
Prep Time: 8 min
Cook Time: 10 min
Ready in: 18 min
Yield: 14 1″ cookies

Ingredients

  • 1¼ cups canned chickpeas, well-rinsed and patted dry with a paper towel
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoons (165 grams) natural peanut butter
  • ¼ cup (80 grams) honey
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder a pinch of salt if your peanut butter doesn’t have salt in it
  • ½ cup (90 grams) chocolate chips (use vegan and dairy-free chocolate chips, if needed)

Directions

1. Preheat your oven to 350°F / 175°C. Combine all the ingredients, except for the chocolate chips,
in a food processor and process until very smooth. Make sure to scrape the sides and the top to
get the little chunks of chickpeas and process again until they’re combined.
2. Put in the chocolate chips and stir it if you can, or pulse it once or twice. The mixture will be
very thick and sticky.
3. With wet hands, form into 1½” balls. Place onto a Silpat or a piece of parchment paper. If you
want them to look more like normal cookies, press down slightly on the balls. They don’t do
much rising.
4. Bake for about 10 minutes. The dough balls will still be very soft when you take them out of the
oven. They will not set like normal cookies.
5. Store in an airtight container at room temperature (or in the fridge) for up to 1 week.

***If you need grain-free baking powder, you can use 1 part cream of tartar + 1 part baking soda +2 parts arrowroot.

cookie dough bites