Coco Cashew Crunch Cookies

This is a crazy busy time of year for most people, myself included, but I really wanted to share this tasty raw, vegan, gluten free Coco Cashew Crunch Cookie recipe I came up with before the holidays are in full swing. It’s a difficult time of year to eat well as we are often surrounded by sweets and treats so I thought I’d do my part to help your waistline by sharing an alternative to the sugar laden desserts we are accustomed to.

The cookies are pretty simple to make as long as you’ve got a food processor, they are fairly healthy and are really, really delicious. I’ve made them three times now and have come up with a general recipe to follow but I encourage you to adjust the recipe to your own personal taste by playing around with the honey and coconut oil quantities.

Coco Cashew Crunch Cookie Ingredients:

1 ¼ cup raw, unsalted organic cashews

½ cup raw organic cacao nibs

½ cup raw organic unsweetened coconut, shredded

3 tbsp organic virgin coconut oil

2 tbsp raw organic honey

3 pinches himalayan salt

Yields approximately 30 one tbsp cookies

I’ve gone with all organic ingredients, but you don’t have to. The only thing I recommend for sure is to use raw cashews as they taste so much better than anything roasted or processed. While I love the cashews, the ingredient I’m most excited about is the raw cacao nibs. I love dark chocolate, but don’t like all the added sugar and when raw cacao is mixed with other sweet ingredients like honey, the bitterness disappears and you are left with a decadent dark chocolate flavour. The best part about raw cacao is that it contains no sugar, has 9 grams of fiber per ¼ cup serving(!) and contains antioxidants as well as potassium, calcium and iron. It really is good for you. Not only do I love adding cacao to sweets, it works great in smoothies as well!

To prep the cookies:

  • Add all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until cashews are chopped and the mixture can easily be formed into a ball. (I like my cookies to be on the chunky side so I do less pulsing than I would for smoother cookies.)
  • Scoop mixture into 1 tbsp balls. (I used a measuring spoon to form the cookies but you could really do this part however you want. An ice cream scoop would work or you could even roll them into balls with your hands.)
  • Place cookies on non-stick pan or plate and refrigerate for at least two hours to harden.

Serve and enjoy!

Coco Cashew Crunch Cookies

The finished product. Nom nom nom.

OMG (Oh My Greens!)

I can’t believe it’s been over a month since I last posted in here! Life has been far too busy lately and even though I’ve been working so much overtime, I’ve managed to avoid getting sick like I normally do during the Fall craziness. This year, I attribute an anti-inflammatory diet and a super awesome husband who prepared a lot of my meals for me  as reasons why I haven’t come down with a seasonal cold or flu.

The diet meant cutting out refined sugar and processed foods, alcohol, caffeine, corn products, dairy and high carb veggies and fruit  among other things. It has been a lot of work but my immune system is happier since I replaced all the junk I ate with veggies and fruits! I’ve lost somewhere between 15 – 20 pounds (depending on the time of day I weigh myself) which is awesome and a bit of a surprise since my intention was never to lose weight. My goal was to be healthy and to figure out what was going on in my digestive tract. I was only supposed to do this for three weeks and after two months this diet has turned into a new lifestyle. I don’t think I can go back to eating how I did before because I feel so awesome now! I feel healthy and nourished!

Going Green

When I first started on the anti-inflammatory diet, breakfast was a big challenge since I was used to eating gluten free cereal with almond milk on week days and bacon & eggs on the weekend and had to give that all up. I switched to millet porridge with fresh berries and liked that, but not as much as I like a green smoothie!  It’s been fun experimenting with different ingredients and I love how I feel so vibrant and radiant after my morning shake.  My cells all feel alive!

Today, I made a tasty smoothie from:
–          1 cucumber
–          2 leaves of kale
–          Handful of mint leaves
–          1 banana
–          1 kiwi
–          ½ cup of frozen raspberries
–          1 tbsp of goji berries
–          2 tbsp of sunflower seeds
–          ¼ cup of coconut water

I try to buy organic whenever possible but I can’t bring myself to spend $5 on one cucumber, especially when I can get 8 non-organic cucumbers for $3.50 at a local produce store. I have been told if you can’t get organic cucumbers, just peel off the skin so I just do that. I have to draw the line somewhere since my grocery bills seem to be skyrocketing!

To prep my smoothie, I cut all the ingredients so they fit inside the cup and ground up the sunflower seeds separately using the milling blade from my NutriBullet. The milling blade turns seeds into a fine powder and allows the oils to be released giving you full nutritional benefits. I added the seeds to the veggie and fruit mixture after they were ground up. Seeds are a great way to add some protein to a smoothie and protein helps to keep you feeling full longer.

I love taking control of my health and feeding my body what it needs to function at it’s best. It only took me a few minutes to make a drink that’s full of vitamins and minerals, that is low in calories and high in complex carbs. Complex carbs help regulate blood sugar unlike simple carbs which cause blood sugar levels to spike then crash leaving you tired and hungry. There are so many health benefits of green smoothies but the biggest benefit for me is that I feel full and nourished well into the morning.