Two New Favorite Clean Eating Recipes!

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!

photo 3Trail 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 egg
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!)

Enjoy! 

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)

photo 1For 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)

Directions:

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.)

Enjoy!

(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? 

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9 Responses to Two New Favorite Clean Eating Recipes!

  1. CAT says:

    Thanks Jill for the recipes. As I said in a comment last week, I have changed my diet dramatically and follow basically the same type of diet as you. I love finding new recipes to make and my family appreciates all the experimenting (most of the time) 🙂 I was going to make some basic nut butter cookies, but like the idea of adding the other ingredients

    My oven was out of commission for a month just recently which caused me to look up unbaked desserts. I found this one for homemade Klondike bars that are out of this world. My daughter’s boyfriend was amazed that it used raw cashews and had no dairy. Here’s the link for this recipe:
    http://detoxinista.com/2014/05/healthy-klondike-bars-dairy-free-paleo/

    I highly recommend her website. I have made many of her recipes and some are regulars in our house now.

    The only downside to eating healthy is that it costs a lot of money. We are a single income family with two young kids to raise still. We can’t always afford, for example, coconut oil. However, we find that it is worth the extra cost for our health. We also have a son with mild autism and a gluten free diet is recommended. I cannot eat gluten (an intolerance not celiac) so we have to make wise choices about our eating.

  2. LeAnn says:

    Is it possible to eat clean when there is a peanut and tree nut allergy? I feel like the clean eating plan relies on nuts.

  3. Megan says:

    Yes clean eating is a great start and its amazing what happens when you cut out the processed stuff. But just as a reminder or in case you didn’t know that those recipes still have sugars in them (maple syrup, honey, dates, etc) and cancer feeds on sugar. Using natural sweeteners like stevia or xylitol/erythritol would be a better choice to eliminate all sugars. I look forward to meeting you when you come to our event in October for SAMMYS in Eau Claire. Best wishes!

    • JillSavage says:

      Megan, yep you still have to watch the natural sugars….moderation for sure. It’s just nice to have some options without the processed, refined ingredients that are an occasional treat!

  4. Annette says:

    I would recommend looking at http://www.onceamonthmeals.com for ideas for Paleo recipes. They are an excellent resource (for both new Paleo recipes, websites, and freezer meal ideas).

  5. Sue says:

    I’ve discovered a delicious new and simple recipe that I love –
    12 asparagus spears
    1/4 ounce of thinly sliced smoked turkey
    Olive Oil
    Chives (optional)
    Heat oven to 400 degrees. Cut woody end off asparagus and toss in olive oil. Cut each turkey slice into 3 slices. Wrap a slice of turkey around middle of each asparagus spear. If desired, wrap a strand of chive around the turkey. Bake in oven for about 12 minutes or slightly longer if desired. Yum!

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