So I’ve finally begun a serious move toward clean eating.
Cancer will do that to you, you know.
It also helps that two of my kids have really gotten into clean eating. They did the Whole 30 challenge and got me started in the right direction.
I’m focusing on lean proteins, veggies, nuts, seeds, and fruits.
I’ve removed processed foods out of my diet, no refined sugar, no grains. I’ve greatly reduced dairy as well. I’m two weeks into the journey and I’m learning to cook a whole different way. Mark’s on board, but my 17 year old is still lobbying for some of his old favorites (he’ll be away at college in a few weeks and I’m sure he’ll get plenty of comfort food there!)
I started changing my eating about 6 weeks ago. I got really serious two weeks ago. In the past six weeks I’m already down 12 lbs (I finally got those 12 lbs off that chemo so kindly added on!) My oncologist told me to get to a healthy weight and maintain it so I’m working towards that.
I love to entertain and bake so instead of giving it up, I’ve been looking for clean eating recipes that I can still enjoy and share. Thankfully a couple of friends made and shared these two recipes that I LOVE! The first is super easy. The second takes a little more time but is soooooo worth it!
Trail Mix Cookies (makes about 20 cookies)
1 c natural peanut butter (almond, sunflower seed…any nut/seed butter)
1/2 c dark chocolate chips (sometimes I add them, sometimes I don’t)
1/2 c. dried cranberries
1/2 c. chopped dates
1/4 c. sunflower seed kernels
1/4 c. pure maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking soda
dash of salt
Stir all together in mixing bowl
Bake 350 degrees for 15 minutes
(Original recipe also included 1/2 c coconut, but I don’t like coconut so I don’t add it!)
This next recipe is sooooo yummy but I confess that I was initially overwhelmed with the different kinds of ingredients. When I finally decided to jump in and try it, I found most at my regular grocery store and then I had to go to the local health food store to find the rest.
I just served these at a party I had and everyone was raving about them. They are that good!!!
They are packed with protein, healthy omega 3 fatty acids, fiber, and antioxidants! And you use your freezer, not your oven! You’ll also need a food processor for this recipe. A small one works just fine…that’s what I have!
Two Layer Raw Chocolate Brownies (Makes 16-20 small squares)
For the brownie layer:
1 cup raw walnut pieces
1/2 cup hulled hemp seeds (got those at the health food store!)
1.5 cups pitted Medjool dates (got those at Meijer)
1/2 cup cocoa or dutch processed cocoa powder
1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp fine grain sea salt
2 heaping tablespoons raw cacao nibs (got those at the health food store too!)
For the chocolate layer
1/2 cup virgin coconut oil
1/2 cup cocoa or dutch processed cocoa powder
1/4 cup put maple syrup
pinch of fine grain sea salt
1/4 tsp vanilla extract (I sometimes also add peppermint extract)
1) Line an 8 inch square pan with wax paper or parchment paper, one piece going each way to make it easy to lift out the brownies later on.
2) In a food processor, process the walnuts into a fine crumb. (I don’t like walnuts, but having them in a fine crumb makes them almost unnoticeable in the brownies!) Move the walnuts to a bowl.
3) Put the hemp seeds in the food processor and pulse a few times. Add the dates and process until the mixture is finely chopped and sticky. (It will be similar to the consistency of a Larabar. If you haven’t tried Larabar’s yet–they are yummy too!)
4) Add the cocoa, vanilla, and salt until thoroughly combined in the processor.
5) Pulse in the nibs and a heaping 1/4 cup of the raw walnut crumbs. (I put the rest of the walnut crumbs in the freezer to use for future brownies.)
6) Evenly press the mixture into the prepared pan until smooth. Place in the freezer for about 10 minutes.
7) While that is freezing, melt the coconut oil over low heat in a medium pot. Remove from heat and whisk in the cocoa, syrup, salt, and vanilla until combined and smooth.
8) Remove the brownies from the freezer and pour the chocolate topping over the brownies until they are evenly covered. Put them back in the freezer on a flat, even surface. Chill for 20-30 minutes.
9) Lift brownies out of the pan using the wax paper or parchment paper. Set on cutting board. Run hot water over a knife for a minute or so, wipe quickly with towel, and carefully slide the knife into the brownies to slice (waming the knife helps it slice more evenly without much cracking).
10) Store leftovers in the freezer for a chocolate treat anytime! (You want to serve these frozen or nearly frozen–they aren’t frozen hard…just firm. They don’t serve well at room temperature.)
(Original recipe with lots of prep pictures can be found over at OhSheGlows!)
What about you? Do you have any yummy, healthy recipes to share?