Paleo Almond Brownies

Hi guys and gals. How is everyone doing? Hopefully well with Spring coming right around the corner! It is going to be 50 in Minnesota today and I am going to enjoy it with a 10 mile run. Sorry treadmill I am breaking up with you today and moving on to the outdoors, lol.

As for what is going on with me….well, I am busy running fitness and clean eating challenge groups. They are so rewarding and help keep me on track with my nutrition and fitness, but also makes me feel so great when my challengers get the results they are looking for! In my latest 7 day challenge, I had a challenger send me a personal message saying they struggle with eating chocolate and it is must have item in their diet.

Chocolate, oh yes, I get it. For me, I have a hard time living without peanut butter. I work daily to limit how much of this little jar of heaven I put in my mouth. Back to chocolate, I told my new friend that I would do my best to find recipes that would help her with her chocolate fix. I found some recipes on Pinterest and posted them to the Facebook group page, but then it dawned on me…..why not make her a brownie recipe? Hello…..I love baking and love sharing my healthy creations, so I got busy in the kitchen and came up with this healthy and delicious brownie recipe this morning. When I saw morning, I MEAN MORNING. These babies came out of the oven at 3:21 AM. FREAK! Yes, but I am a morning person 100% and who doesn’t love having a brownie for breakfast, lol. I only had a 1/2 of one, but the day isn’t over yet. I will be eating the other half and maybe one more after I finish my run. WHOOP, WHOOP.

All right, so I hope you all enjoy these brownies. They are the bomb! Seriously!

Paleo Almond Brownies
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 C Almond Butter (unsweetened)
  2. 2/3 C Cacao Powder (unsweetened)
  3. 1/3 C Maple Syrup
  4. 1/3 C Coconut Palm Sugar
  5. 1 tsp Almond Extract
  6. 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  7. 2 Eggs
  8. 1 tsp Baking Soda
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix together ingredients in a medium sized bowl with a hand mix until combined together.
  3. Pour into an 8x8 greased cake pan.
  4. Bake for 20-22 minutes (test with fork; if it comes clean the brownies are done).
  5. Cool for 10 minutes until devouring!
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Tropical Almond Bars

On day 12 of a Paleo challenge. Since I am a high endurance runner and nursing a 2 month old, I need high fat, protein snacks. Without them I feel lethargic and have really slow runs. It is amazing the difference when I don’t have higher carb snacks before my runs! Plus, I have noticed the baby sleeps for longer periods when I chow down high carb Paleo snacks.  

When I am short on time, my favorite go to bar is a Larabar. They are good, but not outstanding. Trust me when I say that homemade is better!

When my boys were napping on Sunday (a rare miracle), I made these tropical bars. They are fantastic! The biggest gem in them is the dried cantaloupe. Cantaloupe is my least favorite fruit. I hate it with a passion, but in the dried form it is amazingly delish. I also tossed in some dried mango and pineapple. Yummy! 

Anyways, give these bars a shot. You will love them. 

Tropical Almond Bars
Serves 16
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Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 C Almonds
  2. 1 C Pistacios
  3. 3/4 C Almond Butter
  4. 1 C Cantaloupe, dried
  5. 1 C Pineapple, dried
  6. 1 C Mango, dried
  7. 1/4 C Water
  8. 2 tbsp Maple Syrup
Instructions
  1. Add dried fruit and water to a food processor. Mix together until fruit is chopped into small pieces.
  2. Toss in the maple syrup, nuts and almond butter. Blend together until a thick dough forms and nuts are chopped. You made need to stop the food processor a few times to redistribute the dough.
  3. Press dough into an 8 x 8 pan. Refridgerate for an hour before cutting into squares. Store for three weeks in fridge or several months in freezer.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Cherry Coconut Flax Cereal

Yesterday was sort of a pooh, pooh day. Okay it was good for the most part, but I got a little down thinking about how our family doesn’t eat normal. When I say normal I mean I cannot just grab a jar of pasta sauce and noodles and whip together spaghetti for dinner.

A, because tomatoes flare up Luke’s arthritis and B, because he can’t have any grains on his diet right now (not even rice because he had a slight flare up of inflammation after eating it). Nor after working 10 hours a day can I call Dominos to deliver a pizza. Again because it has pasta sauce and grains.

It is extremely difficult to coordinate meals around my husbands’ diet because I can’t use eggs, corn, rice, quinoa, oats, buckwheat, amaranth, wheat (Mason and I are gluten free so that doesn’t really matter), tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, dairy, soy, peppers (bell, jalapenos, cayenne pepper, chili powder), cumin/seed based spices, etc. It is by far one of the biggest challenges I have faced and lately I have been short on ideas!

So, I actually drummed up an idea for dinner….FINALLY! It is going to be stuffed artichoke and spinach chicken breasts wrapped in bacon with an egg-free/grain free flat bread. Stay tuned for this yummy goodness and sorry about my ranting. All I want to do is make food for my husband to feel better and it is a challenge that exhausts me many days, so I wanted to garner up some support :)

All right, now I predominantly eat Paleo (e.g. no grains). However, when training for a marathon I have found that I need grains to fuel this high endurance activity. I know, I know you could run marathons on a Paleo diet, but it doesn’t get me to my maximum performance. Trust me I have tried Paleo approved high carb goodies before runs and they do not work as well as a bowl of oatmeal or gluten-free cereal!

The hard part is finding a good gluten-free cereal that is loaded with protein, dried fruit and solid mix of grains. I seriously stared at the grocery aisle for 15 minutes trying to find the perfect multi-grain one. Finally I gave up! I bought almond butter, maple syrup, cinnamon, dried cherries, dried raisins, oats, coconut, nuts, seeds, Enjoy Life Crunchy Flax cereal, and Nature’s Path Mesa Sunrise Flakes and made my own amazing protein packed multi-grain cereal. It came out as a cross between granola and cereal, but it is oh so delicious.

Cherry Coconut Flax Cereal
Serves 16
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 C Unsweetened Coconut
  2. 2 C Oats, Gluten Free Certified
  3. 1 C Dried Cherries, unsweetened
  4. 1/2 C Raisins, unsweetened
  5. 2 tsp Cinnamon
  6. 2 C Mixed Nuts, chopped
  7. 3/4 C Sunflower Seeds
  8. 1/2 C Maple Syrup
  9. 1 tsp Vanilla
  10. 2 tbsp Coconut Oil
  11. 2/3 C Almond Butter
  12. 1 box Enjoy Life Flax Crunch Cereal
  13. 1 box Nature's Path Mesa Sunrise Cereal
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Melt together almond butter, coconut oil, maple syrup, cinnamon and vanilla in a small microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 60 seconds.
  3. Add oats, nuts, seeds, coconut and dried fruit (cereal will be added after roasting the oats and nuts in the oven) to a large mixing bowl. Pour the melted almond butter mixture over the oat/nut/dried fruit mixture and stir until even coated.
  4. Evenly space the almond butter and oat/dried fruit mixture onto a large cookie sheet.
  5. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool completely before stirring in the cereal.
Notes
  1. Store in an airtight container in the pantry for 3-4 weeks or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Enjoy with your favorite non-dairy milk or yogurt.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Tropical Blueberry Bars

As I was mixing together the Peanut Butter Oat Bars, Luke comes up to me and says, “What are you making?” I told him, “Peanut Butter Oat Bars.” After hearing the words peanut butter and oats he immediately got a sad look on his face because he can’t have either on his AIP diet.

After he left for work, I rummaged through the pantry looking for ingredients for protein bars that he could eat and came up with these tropical blueberry bars. When he got home that night he was like a kid in a candy store eating these bars! Over the years I have learned that it is the little things that truly make people happy and I am just glad something so small could make Luke’s day!

So, if you are allergic to peanuts, cannot tolerate oats (I have a hard time digesting them so I eat them occasionally and pay for it later) or are following the Paleo diet than these are the perfect bars for you.

Tropical Blueberry Bars
Serves 16
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Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 C Dried Pineapple, chopped
  2. 1 C Dried Blueberries
  3. 6-8 Medjool Dates, pits removed
  4. 3/4 C Almond Butter
  5. 1/4 C Sunbutter
  6. 1 1/2 C Walnuts
  7. 1/2 C Pepitas
  8. 1/4 C Maple Syrup
  9. 4 tbsp Coconut Palm Sugar
  10. 1 tsp Vanilla
  11. 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
Instructions
  1. Add dried fruit and nuts/seeds to food processor and chop until they are in small pieces. Mix in the maple syrup, almond butter, sunbutter, sea salt, vanilla and coconut palm sugar until blended together and resembles a thick dough.
  2. Press into an 8 X 8 cake pan. Refrigerate for an hour before cutting into bars and serving.
  3. Bars can be stored in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for 3 months if they are in an air-tight storage container.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Pistachio Energy Bites

The weather in Minnesota has been miserable the last three weeks, but we are finally getting a breather from below zero temperatures this weekend! This is fantastic because I have a 10 mile run on Sunday that I was not looking forward to at all. Okay boring, why am I talking about the weather? Well probably because I can’t think of anything else to ramble on about at the moment. 

I mean really, the other boring thing I could talk about is the manuscript I am writing for the 2015 Global SAS Forum. Last fall I submitted some research on the association between healthcare costs and participation in Fitness Reimbursement programs for a podium presentation at the conference. It was accepted, COOL. So now, I am writing the paper and making sure I sound like I know what I am talking about it :) HAHA. No really, I do know what I am talking about (MOST DAYS). 

BUT…..

Here is my total bone head move and shows you how your brain goes with kids. I was getting ready for my run last weekend and was wrestling with getting my headphones to work with Pandora on it. I kept trying different buttons to get the sound to work and using some choice words of “Oh to HELL, why is this not working.” When all of a sudden I noticed I didn’t even have the headphones in my ears. DUH! So, there you have it. I can get accepted for some advanced research conference (feel a little SMART) and then do something that makes me feel like an IDIOT all in one swoop. Oh good times!

Allright, so now on to the pistachio bites. I made these delicious and I mean delicious treats for my husband. He needs to eat protein with fruits and was sucking down beef jerky, sausage and meats like mad. I worry a bit about the sodium content of packaged meats, so finally I thought, “Aha, I can make him some protein bites!” I made these little nuggets and he loved them. He also took them to the Packers playoff game last weekend to share with some of our friends. They also loved them :) I actually promised I would get this recipe posted for our dear friend, Kelly! So, I want to give a little shout out to her because she is an amazing mom, business owner and just a hoot to be around. Hope these turn out for you when you try them at home lady! 

Pistachio Energy Bites
Serves 18
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Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 C Pistachios
  2. 1 1/2 C Banana Chips
  3. 6-8 Medjool Dates, pits removed & chopped
  4. 3-4 tbsp Agave Nectar
  5. 1/2 C Almond Butter
  6. 1/2 C Almond Flour
  7. 1/2 tsp Maple Extract
  8. 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
Instructions
  1. Add medjool dates, banana chips, pistachios and agave nectar to a food processor. Chop in the food processor until the dried fruit and nuts have broken down into very small pieces.
  2. Add in the remaining ingredients and pulse together until a smooth dough forms (you will still have finely chopped pieces of pistachio).
  3. Roll together into walnut sized balls. Refrigerate for up to 2 to 3 weeks or freeze for up to 3 months (if they last that long).
Notes
  1. Make sure you buy pistachios out of the shell or you will be shelling pistachios for a good 20 minutes before making this recipe.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Almond Cranberry Cookies

After only getting four hours of sleep I really needed something protein dense and a little sweet to get me through my workout and my work day! So, I was going to make my apricot cashew cups with cherries instead of apricots, but I thought a cookie would hit the spot better. Also, since I am on day 5 of a 22 day challenge I knew I would get some frowns when I posted a picture of the cookie to our board, but I don’t consider these cookies a non-healthy item! They are free of processed sugars, grains and butter. The fats are almost 100% from nuts, so I just went with it. 

I guess most importantly is I want to encourage people to eat items like this when they are doing clean eating or fitness challenges. I know the goal is to lose weight and these may seem like you are setting yourself back, but how are these cookies different than a Larabar or a protein bar? It is just because they are called a COOKIE that you think, “OH, she (or I) should not be eating that!” WRONG! If you work out and run as much as I do then you should be eating these! 

All right enough of my sermon! Aside from these cookies we are doing great on the home front. Luke’s doctor gave the go ahead for him to eat rice, which is UBER exciting for him. For those who know my husband his lifeline in the past was Asian food, so  when he went on the AIP diet rice was the toughest one! He still can’t have soy though he has to be really careful when he goes to Chinese restaurants and only get steamed veggies with rice and then he adds coconut aminos, which is like soy sauce. FUN TIMES! 

Enough ramblings for one day….I need to get my BUTT to work :) 

Almond Cranberry Cookies
Serves 24
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 C Almonds, raw
  2. 1 C Cashews, raw
  3. 1/4 C Almond Butter
  4. 2 tbsp Palm Oil Shortening
  5. 1 Egg
  6. 1 1/2 C Almond Flour
  7. 1/4 C Coconut Palm Sugar
  8. 1/4 C Agave Nectar
  9. 1 tsp Sea Salt
  10. 1 tsp Baking Soda
  11. 1 tsp Maple Extract
  12. 3/4 C Cranberries
  13. 3/4 Chocolate Chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Add nuts to a food processor and mix until the oil from the nuts starts to break down into a butter. Once this happens add in the palm oil shortening and the almond butter. Continue to process until a smooth butter forms.
  3. Add in the almond flour, baking soda, agave nectar, egg, maple extract, sea salt and coconut palm sugar. Pulse 8-10 times until the liquids are completely combined. You may need to stop the food processor and stir by hand.
  4. Pulse in the chocolate chips and cranberries.
  5. Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto to a cookie sheet (about the size of a golf ball) and bake for 10 minutes.
  6. Allow to cool on the pan for a couple of minutes before transfer to a cooling rack.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Cranberry Brownie Bites

I made these brownie bites while Mason was eating breakfast. As the food processor was going he kept pointing at it and saying, “I want that, Mommy.” I gave him a spoonful and he absolutely loved it!

Seriously this batter is so good that if you are having sugar cravings or want a healthier, higher in protein and allergy friendly alternative to brownies, MAKE THESE!

Aside from making this yummy snack, I have been listening to the Autoimmune Summit. Autoimmune conditions are detrimental to the body because they tricks the body into attacking healthy cells and joints. The summit discusses how food contributes to the growing epidemic of autoimmune conditions, ways to reduce symptoms through elimination diets and what herbs/extracts promote the growth of healthy gut cells/prevent leaky gut.

The talks are EXTREMELY informative and are free if accessed within 24 hours of them airing online. Thus far, my key takeaways I have found to be the most relevant are:

– Clean eating elimination diets can help improve digestion issues and reduce symptoms associated with autoimmune conditions.
– Our digestive system makes more decisions related to our immunity in one day than the rest of our body does in our lifetime. 
– Food as a curative medicine is 5 1/2 times more effective at treating autoimmune conditions than conventional prescription medicine. 
– Children of parent’s suffering from autoimmune conditions are more likely to develop similar diseases if fed a gluten, GMO and processed food diet. 
– Toxic chemicals from GMO products are further exacerbating the growth of bad bacteria and causing the cell walls of the gut to break down, which is allowing particles to escape into our blood stream. Once in our bloodstream our body is treating the particles as a foreign invader through an autoimmune condition.

Cranberry Brownie Bites
Serves 12
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Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/3 C Cacao Powder
  2. 2 C Cashews
  3. 1/2 C Carob Chips
  4. 6 Medjool Dates
  5. 1 C Dried Cranberries, unsweetened
  6. 4 tbsp Honey or Maple Syrup
  7. 2 tbsp Coconut Palm Sugar
  8. 2 tbsp Palm Oil Shortening, melted
  9. 1/2 tsp Salt
  10. 1 tsp Vanilla
Instructions
  1. Put cashews, dried cranberries, cacao powder and coconut palm sugar in a food processor and process until broken down into course flour (2-3 minutes).
  2. Add palm oil shortening, salt, vanilla, carob chips and honey. Pulse together until smooth batter forms.
  3. Roll into walnut sized balls.
  4. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for 1 month.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Chunky Chocolate Cookies

Okay, so I have never in my life made double chocolate chunk cookies. Grant it, I have made about a 1,000 batches of chocolate chip cookies, but never any cookies where chocolate is the star ingredient. Going into my baking adventure I wanted to make chocolate chip cookie dough bites covered in chocolate. However, when mixing the dough it came out a darker shade than I wanted for pictures, so I morphed the recipe into these chunky chocolate cookies by adding in cacao powder and melted chocolate.

Not using egg, very little shortening and no baking soda or baking powder, I fully expected one enormous pancake coming out of the oven. However, as I watched these little babies bake away, I was doing cartwheels across the kitchen floor because they actually looked like a cookie and tasted pretty darn delicious too. I must admit I am not a big chocolate girl either and I think these are yum-tastic. Seriously, at a party if this cookie and a sugar cookie were chilling together on a plate (pending they were gluten free) I would always reach for the sugar cookie. Sorry chocolate I don’t mean to hurt your feelings, but I am sugar first girl :)

In all seriousness, Paleo chocolate lovers should take note because these are delish! I promise they will leave your taste buds feeling oh so fantastic. ENJOY! 

Chunky Chocolate Cookies
Serves 24
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 C Almond Butter
  2. 2 tbsp Palm Oil Shortening
  3. 1 1/2 C Almond Meal
  4. 1/3 C Agave Nectar
  5. 1 tsp Vanilla
  6. 1/2 tsp Salt
  7. 4 tbsp Coconut Palm Sugar
  8. 2 C 70% Cacao Chocolate Chunks
  9. 1/4 C Cacao Powder
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Melt one cup of the chocolate chunks in a microwave safe bowl in 30 second increments (stirring in between) until done. It will take between 1-2 minutes to melt completely.
  3. Add to food processor along with the almond butter, palm oil shortening, vanilla, salt, cacao powder, agave nectar and coconut palm sugar. Mix together on the pulse setting until a smooth dough forms.
  4. Pour in the almond meal and remaining chocolate chunks and continue to pulse until the dough is thicker and mixed together.
  5. Place walnut sized dough balls onto metal cookie sheets. Bake for 10-11 minutes.
  6. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to wire cooling racks.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Flax Chia Protein Balls

For the last 6 weeks I have been trying to follow the Autoimmune Diet Protocol with my husband. He is doing it to determine if eliminating certain foods will reduce his psoriatic arthritis symptoms and I am tagging along because I have a whole host of digestive issues from food (e.g. milk, wheat, potentially oats & nightshades as I am learning from the elimination diet).

Even though I have felt very good on the diet, I have found it very difficult to find sources of energy that keep me going for high endurance physical activities. It really hit me last Sunday when I trekked out for a 14 mile run. From the start, I felt off and my time showed it. On a normal training run I clock in at around 8 minute miles, but that day I was just under 9. This is not optimal when I am training for the Boston Marathon. Due to my general decline in running ability, I have started to reintroduce foods, such as flax seeds, chia seeds, oats, nuts/nut butters, and gluten free grains (oats primarily), that gave me energy for runs before. The kicker now is oats, unless I consumer them in small quantities they are really hard on my digestive system. I made these scrumptious little bites with oats and I have predominantly okay, but I am going to try other recipes using Quinoa flakes.

What I can say is I have been making my normal green smoothie and then grabbing two of these babies before my short runs this week and my times are back up. Whoop, whoop! These little treats have made a WORLD of a difference in my performance and I am sure they will help you too. Needless to say, I still like the overall feel of the autoimmune diet, but I really need to fuel my marathon training. To do that I am going to keep adding homemade energy bars and balls to my workout routine. Also, overall the next couple of months I plan to add a lot of different variations of these little guys, so stay tuned!

Oh, these are pretty easy to make too! All you have to do is add the ingredients to your food processor like this picture and hit buttons (well and maybe stir them a few times):

Flax Chia Protein Balls2

The chia and flax seeds make these energy balls slightly crunchy. If you do not like that texture then use flax or chia meal. Now on to the recipe!

Flax Chia Protein Balls
Yields 2
Protein packed energy balls that are perfect for workouts and snacking!
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Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 C Gluten Free Oats
  2. 1 C Ancient Grain Cereal Flakes
  3. 2 tbsp Flax Seeds or Meal
  4. 2 tbsp Chia Seeds or Meal
  5. 4 Medjool Dates, pits removed
  6. 1 1/4 C Almond Butter
  7. 1/4 C Coconut Palm Sugar
  8. 1/8 C Maple Syrup
  9. 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
Instructions
  1. Add ingredients to a food processor and pulse together until a thick dough forms. You may have to stir the mixture a couple of times mid-way through the process.
  2. Once the dough has come together, you can either press it into an 8x8 pan to make bars or take a heaping tablespoon and roll them into balls like I did in the picture.
Notes
  1. For the ancient grain flakes, I used Erewhon Quinoa and Chia cereal flakes.
  2. I store mine in the freezer (for up to three months) and take a couple out 10 minutes before I want to eat them.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Fresh Peach Muffins

Had two presentations with customers to go over program performance yesterday. I have to say I still get butterflies in my stomach right before these meetings, but they are getting considerable easier compared to when I started doing these presentations. I stumbled a little on explaining the application of an instrumental variable technique to a non-statistical audience (you are probably saying, what in the bejeezus an instrumental variable….). So I didn’t mess up because I do not understand the concept, but because it is just flat out a difficult concept to communicate without overwhelming folks with details. Oh, the life of a researcher! A lot of people must think I am a total nerd now! Well, I am most days :)  

At any rate, to calm some of my nerdy nerves, I distracted myself over lunch by making these gluten free, corn free, soy free and Paleo friendly muffins. Another added bonus is there are no processed sugars, but only natural sweetener from the maple syrup. Plus, they have a higher protein and nutritional content from the almond flour than a standard gluten muffin counterpart.

I encourage you to try this recipe as these muffins are moist, delicious and taste just like the real deal! I gave my son a half of one yesterday and he scarfed it up in two seconds, which was followed by “Momma, mo’ pee muff-hin, peeez.” Low and behold he ate an entire one by himself. 

Fresh Peach Muffins
Serves 12
These fresh peach muffins are gluten free, paleo friendly and contain no processed sugars. Give them a try for breakfast or for an afternoon snack.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 Fresh Peaches, chopped
  2. 2 Eggs
  3. 1/4 C Maple Syrup
  4. 1 tsp Vanilla
  5. 2 tbsp Almond Butter
  6. 2 tbsp Butter, softened
  7. 1/4 C Coconut Flour
  8. 3/4 C Almond Flour
  9. 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
  10. 1 tsp Cinnamon
  11. 1/2 tsp Salt
  12. 3/4 tsp Baking Soda
  13. 3/4 tsp Baking Powder
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with paper inserts.
  2. Add peaches, eggs, vanilla, butter, maple syrup and almond butter to a medium bowl. Mash together with a potato masher for 1 minute.
  3. Using a hand mixer, stir in coconut flour, almond flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix on medium for another minute until combined.
  4. Pour batter 2/3 high into paper inserts. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean.
  5. Cool for 10 minutes.
  6. Transfer to cooling rack.
http://barerootkitchen.com/

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Blueberry Banana Smoothie

This smoothie hit the spot on day four of me trying out a modified version of the “Conscious Cleanse.” As I said in a previous post, I am following the cleanse in principal, but am not using the book’s smoothie recipes. If you do not follow my blog in chronological order (which I am assuming most do not) you are probably thinking what the heck is this chick talking about. I would too and that is okay.

So, the the cleanse is about removing allergy prone or hard to digest foods from your diet for 14 days (e.g. eggs, corn, wheat, dairy, soy, etc.). This was a piece of cake for me considering I don’t eat wheat or soy and rarely have dairy. Okay, but the harder part is starting out the day with a quart of lemon water. 

Does that make me pee constantly in the morning? Like the Kool-Aid man says, “Oh yeah!” Not to mention I am mother effing hungry in the AM. However, after chugging down the water drinking a “delish” smoothie is worth it.

I put “delish” in quotes because the first smoothie I made from the book (recipe not on my blog), I had to force myself to drink. After every sip, I kept thinking do people actually enjoy 32 ounces of this and after one day do they continue on for another 13 days! It would be hard. So, instead of giving up, I started creating alternative smoothies to stick with the cleanse. This also helped me to enjoy every last drop! Hope you will too!

Blueberry Banana Smoothie
Serves 2
Green smoothies are the perfect way to add in leafy greens into your diet without even detecting them. Give this smoothie a whirl for breakfast and you will start out your day drinking a powerhouse of super foods!
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 C Spinach
  2. 2 Bananas
  3. 2 C Almond milk
  4. 2 tbsp Almond Butter
  5. 5 Medjool Dates, pits removed
  6. 2 C Blueberries, frozen
  7. 1 C Strawberries, frozen
  8. 1 C Raspberries, frozen
  9. 2 C Ice
  10. 2 C Water
Instructions
  1. Add dates and water to blender. Soak for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes blend the dates until smooth.
  2. Put remaining ingredients into blender and mix together until smooth. Add an additional tablespoon of liquid (either water or almond milk) at a time if smoothie is too thick. If too thin add another 1/4 cup of fruit.
Notes
  1. This smoothie was created to be as a meal replacement, so the recipe creates two 32 ounce servings. With protein and veggies packed into one cup it was perfect for day two of my whole body cleanse. Cut the recipe in half if you want to have smaller servings.
http://barerootkitchen.com/

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Cacao Coconut Parfait

Lately, I have been craving chocolate and coconut. No, I am not pregnant, so don’t start any rumors. I just go through streaks where I want the same things over and over until I get sick of them. Plus, it is Girl Scout Cookie season and I cannot indulge in my childhood favorite cookie….Samaos, so this satisfied my urge since I can no longer eat the real deal!

​This is a high protein snack, plus it has the added benefits of raw cacao. If you are unfamiliar with raw cacao here are some health tid bits:

  • ​Nutritious – Great source for magnesium, iron, chromium, vanadium, copper, zinc, phosphorus.
  • ​Alchemical: Cacao dilates the intestines and cardiovascular system allowing more nutrients to be absorbed.
  • ​Neutralizes Free Radicals: Contains high levels of antioxidants, which protect the body from a buildup of free radicals (toxic substance exposure), which may damage healthy body tissue giving rise to cancer and cardiovascular disease.
  • ​Improves Digestions: High fiber content supports digestion and stimulates body’s production of digestive enzymes.

​Sounds delicious and nutritious, right? So, why not indulge!

Cacao Coconut Parfait
Serves 2
A Girl Scout Cookie favorite morphed into a nutritious parfait. Enjoy!
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
Coconut Date Layer
  1. 1/2 C Shredded Coconut, unsweetened
  2. 2 tbsp Almond Butter
  3. 1/8 tsp Vanilla
  4. 5 Medjool Dates, pitted
  5. 1 tbsp Maple Syrup
  6. 2 tbsp Dark Chocolate Chips (topping)
  7. 2 tbsp Shredded Coconut (topping)
Cacao Pudding
  1. 3 Tbsp Cacao Powder, unsweetened
  2. 1 C Greek Yogurt, plain
  3. 1/8 tsp Vanilla
  4. 3 tbsp Maple Syrup
  5. 1 tbsp Coconut Flour
Directions
Coconut Date Layer
  1. Put everything except for chocolate chips and coconut into food processor. Pulse until everything is slightly mixed but still chunky.
Cacao Pudding
  1. Mix ingredients together in a small bowl with a hand mixer.
  2. Layer coconut date mixture and cacao pudding into a parfait.
  3. Top with chocolate chips and some additional coconut for extra crunch!
Notes
  1. Substitute coconut milk cream in place of Greek yogurt (cream from can of coconut milk that is refrigerated overnight) for dairy free or strict Paleo diets.
http://barerootkitchen.com/

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Millet Apricot Porridge

Who likes oatmeal? I do, but I can see how the blandness and mushy consistency can be a major turn off! The majority of us probably eat it because doctors say it is good for your heart, but I am willing to bet you are gagging after every bite :)

If you are in the “I only eat oatmeal because someone is telling me it is good for me” camp, then try my Millet Apricot Porridge. Sounds like Goldylocks & the Three Bears, right? Okay, before you turn your nose up I have to say this is the best breakfast porridge I have ever had! Oatmeal has nothing on it & I mean nothing! Try it, it is HOT DAMN tasty! 

Oh, you can also use quinoa or steel cut oats in place of millet, but I just love the flavor and consistency of millet over quinoa for breakfast cereal. Oats can be harder to digest & it is hard to find Gluten Free certified oats, so try to stick with millet or quinoa if oats do not sit well with you.

Millet Apricot Porridge
Serves 4
Hearty and delicious porridge that hits the spot on a cold winter's day.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 C Millet
  2. 3 C Almond Milk, vanilla flavored
  3. 1 tsp Almond Extract
  4. 1 tbsp Maple Syrup
  5. 1 C Dried Apricots
  6. 1/2 C Almonds, raw
  7. 1/2 C Cranberries, dried
  8. 1/2 C Sunflower Seeds
  9. 1/2 C Golden Raisens
  10. 2 tbsp Almond Butter
  11. 1 tsp Cinnamon
  12. 1/2-3 C Almond Milk (garnish for porridge, depends on number of servings)
  13. Salt
Instructions
  1. Cook millet, almond milk, vanilla and maple syrup in large saucepan over medium high heat until milk comes to a light boil.
  2. Turn heat down to low, cover & let simmer for 25-30 minutes until liquid is completely absorbed.
  3. Pulse together dried fruit, nuts, seeds, cinnamon and almond butter until it is finely chopped. Add cooked millet (while still warm) & pulse until combined.
  4. Transfer a cup of the porridge to a bowl. Top with 1/2 C almond milk, additional dried/fruit nut mixture (if desired) & a dash of salt (optional).
  5. Store the rest in the refrigerator & reheat for another morning. Just add another 1/2 C of almond milk with each serving.
http://barerootkitchen.com/

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Black Bean Brownies

It has been quite a day! Tripped over uneven pavement 5 miles into my long run, skinned up my knees & my phone went dead so I had no way to get home except to hobble/run the five miles back home. And when I say tripped that is an understatement, I actually flew through the air and came crashing hard into the pavement. Some guy picking up a real estate sign stopped and his exact expression was, “Oh man, are you okay?” I got up & kept going, but it was the hardest run yet! To reward myself I indulged in some of these brownies!

So, here you go! Try my rendition of a black bean brownie that is full of protein & tastes great! I topped them with a greek yogurt strawberry cream & some fresh strawberries. They are also great plain. Both my little guy and husband gobbled these up & my husband doesn’t even like chocolate.

Now I am sure some of you are thinking, black beans? Gross? Trust me there are several black bean brownie recipes where they really taste like black beans & are not that great! This one is not the case, trust me! You will not detect the black bean flavor, but will get the full benefit of the protein they provide.

Black Bean Brownies
Serves 10
Try my rendition of a black bean brownie that is full of protein & tastes great! I topped them with a Greek yogurt strawberry cream & some fresh strawberries. They are also great plain.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 C Medjool Dates (pits removed)
  2. 1​ can Black Beans (rinsed & drained)
  3. 1/2 C Almond Butter
  4. 1/2 C Greek Yogurt (2% or higher)
  5. 2 tbsp Brown Rice Syrup (or honey)
  6. 1/8 C Coconut Palm Sugar
  7. 3/4 C Cacao Powder
  8. 1 tsp Vanilla
  9. 1 tsp Cinnamon
  10. 1/2 tsp Salt
  11. 1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  12. 2 1/2 tbsp Flax Meal
  13. 6 tbsp Water
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Add Medjool dates to food processor. Process until chopped. Add remaining ingredients & process until creamy batter forms.
  3. Pour batter evenly into an a greased 8x8 pan.
  4. Bake 25-30 minutes until edges start to pull slightly away from the pan. The bars will have a slightly fudgy center.
  5. Let cool 30 minutes before eating.
  6. Store in airtight container or refrigerator.
Notes
  1. If you want to add a topping, an easy mix is crushing a cup of strawberries with a potato masher in a small bowl. Add in a cup of greek yogurt, 1/2 teaspoon of lemon extract and 1 tablespoon of honey. Just mix it together & pour over the brownies. Add some fresh strawberries & you have an amazing layered dessert!
http://barerootkitchen.com/

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Berry Cheesecake Bars

This recipe came as inspiration from www.OMGPaleo.com. If you haven’t checked out Juli’s site, DO IT! Her recipes are amazing & she is pretty damn funny!

I am a cheesecake fan, but I am not a big fan of the flavor of the coconut cream rendered from a can of coconut milk. Which is totally funny because I like flaked coconut, coconut macaroons, etc. It is just something about the funk flavor coming out of the can! Anyway, so I adjusted Juli’s recipe to “mask” as much of the coconut flavor as humanly possible!

Make sure you put the can of coconut milk in the refrigerator the night before you plan on making these bars.

Berry Cheesecake Bars
Serves 8
Seriously, these bars are ridiculously good! I ate mine for breakfast. Actually, if I had my way I would eat dessert for every meal of the day!
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Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
3 hr
Total Time
3 hr 25 min
Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
3 hr
Total Time
3 hr 25 min
Ingredients
Almond Pecan Crust
  1. 10 Medjool dates (chopped & pits removed)
  2. 1/2 C Almond Butter
  3. 1 C Pecans
  4. 2 tbsp Maple Syrup
  5. 1 tsp Cinnamon
  6. 1 tsp Vanilla
  7. 1/2 tsp Salt
Almond Butter Coconut Filling
  1. Coconut Cream (White cream from top of refrigerated coconut milk)
  2. 1/4 C Almond Butter
  3. 2 tbsp Coconut Flour
  4. 1 tsp Vanilla
  5. 1/2 tsp Salt
  6. 1 tbsp Maple Syrup
  7. 1/2 C Greek Yogurt (omit if strict paleo & reduce coconut flour by 1 tbsp)
Berry Topping
  1. 1 C Blueberries
  2. 1 C Raspberries
  3. 1 tsp Cinnamon
  4. 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
  5. 1 tbsp Maple Syrup
  6. 1 tbsp Arrowroot Powder
Directions
Almond Pecan Crust Layer
  1. Add ingredients to a food processor & pulse until ingredients are combined.
  2. Do not over process or the oils from the nuts and almond butter will start to separate.
  3. Add to an 8x8 cake pan & freeze for at least an hour before preparing cheesecake layer.
Almond Butter Coconut Filling Layer
  1. Mix ingredients with hand mixer until combined. Omit greek yogurt if strict paleo.
  2. Add this layer to crust & freeze for another hour.
Berry Topping Layer
  1. Add ingredients to a small saucepan & cook over medium heat until mixture starts to thicken slightly.
  2. Cool the berry mixture for an hour in the refrigerator.
  3. After completely cooled spread over the top of the cheesecake layer & freeze for another hour.
Notes
  1. Keep these bars in freezer until ready to serve. Remove 15 minutes before eating.
Adapted from PaleOMG
Adapted from PaleOMG
http://barerootkitchen.com/

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Maple Almond Butter

My son eats nut butters by the spoonful (okay, it is really by the finger full…in fact, we call his fingers fun dip sticks)! This is totally awesome because I cannot get him to eat any of our yummy farm fresh & organic meats! However, commercially prepared nut butters are expensive & quite frankly there are very few good ones out there. Two exceptions are Barney’s and Justin’s, but it is hard to justify spending $10 on a 16 ounce jar! So, I decided why not make it myself! 

Maple Almond Butter
Serves 12
Homemade almond butter with a hint of maple syrup.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 C Almonds, raw & unsalted
  2. 1 tbsp Sesame Oil
  3. 2 tbsp Maple Syrup
  4. 1 tsp Salt
Instructions
  1. Process almonds until it forms into a butter. Make take 10-15 minutes. Scrap down the sides of container a couple of times during processing to mix evenly.
  2. After butter forms add in oil and salt. Process until thoroughly combined
  3. Add maple syrup 1 tbsp at a time. If your mixture firms up & is no longer smooth, don't worry! It can be saved by either adding another teaspoon of oil at a time until the mixture smooths back out or by tossing in a tablespoon of pre-processed almond butter.
Notes
  1. Serve with fresh apple or celery slices for a tasty snack!
http://barerootkitchen.com/

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Cacao Avocado Pudding

This is a yummy dairy-free alternative to chocolate pudding!

Cacao Avocado Pudding
Serves 2
This is a yummy dairy-free alternative to chocolate pudding!
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 3/4 C Almond Milk
  2. 2 Avocados
  3. 2 tbsp Almond Butter
  4. 2 tbsp Sunflower Butter
  5. 1/4 C Maple Syrup
  6. 6 tbsp Cacao Powder
  7. 1/4 tsp Salt
  8. 1 tbsp Pistachios, chopped
Instructions
  1. Blend first 7 ingredients in food processor or blender.
  2. Top with chopped pistachios.
  3. ENJOY!
http://barerootkitchen.com/

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Almond Chip Cookies

Downloaded my triathlon training guide to make it official. Now I need to get my bike into the shop to get a tune up so I don’t get a flat 10 minutes into the ride. Nothing like getting out of the transition area & having a bum bike (believe me, I know from experience)!

Speaking of races, I am picky about training/pre-race food. Picky because my stomach does not tolerate a lot of foods, but also picky because all I want is peanut butter, almond butter and sunflower butter FOR EVERY MEAL. I can’t exactly take a jar of peanut butter on a long run, but these cookies are a pretty good substitute!

Almond Chip Cookies
Serves 12
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 3/4 C Almond Flour
  2. 10-12 Medjool Dates, pitted & chopped
  3. 1 C Almond Butter
  4. 1/8 C Agave Nectar
  5. 2 tsp Vanilla
  6. 1/2 tsp Salt
  7. 1/2 C Carob Chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine first 6 ingredients in a food processor until it forms a dough. This will take about 2-3 minutes. If the dough is not forming add in another tablespoon of almond butter at a time until dough forms.
  3. Fold in chocolate chips.
  4. Form into walnut size balls. Evenly place dough onto cookie sheet & then press down gently with fork to form the criss-cross pattern of traditional peanut butter cookies.
  5. Cook for 6-8 minutes.
  6. Cool on parchment paper.
http://barerootkitchen.com/

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