vegan

Chocolate Bliss Balls Recipe (Raw, Vegan, Gluten Free)

Dear Leah Renee, 

What’s a simple dessert ball recipe?  I’m not a baker by any means, so if you have something that requires minimal effort and is quick, it would be appreciated!  ~Debbie, WA

I like easy recipes, and this one fits the bill.  If you’re craving something sweet (and have already made the black bean brownies and raw cookie dough bites a million times now), here’s another one to add to your recipe book.  Full of chocolatey goodness, it’s not so bad for you either.  Certainly better than putting away a bar of commercial chocolate!  It’s got protein, fiber, and antioxidants.  The best part: it’s no-bake and simple to make.

Here’s what you’ll need (honey is optional if you like it extra sweet):

Bliss balls ingredients

Take 1/2 cup cashews, 6 soaked dates (just soak them in almond milk or water for a couple hours, or use un-soaked if that’s all that’s available), and cacao powder in a food processor or blender.  I used my Vitamix, but I’d rather have used a food processor since it’s more difficult to scoop out! Blend until smooth, or in my case, a little chunky, either one is fine!  Exhibit A:

bliss balls in vitamix

 

Transfer to a bowl (have a little taste and see if the sweetness is to your liking. If you like it sweeter, add a TB of raw honey): 

bliss ball dough

And roll into balls (that’s the fun part):

chocolate bliss balls

You can enjoy them this way, or roll them in cacao nibs (I ground mine finer), goji berries, maca powder, coconut flakes…whatever you like!  But, I like chocolate, so the opportunity to add more won 🙂

Bliss Balls

Share with others, or consume them all yourself (not all at once, of course) 😉

 

What’s your favorite healthy(er) dessert?

 

 

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!!!