Healthy 4 Ingredient Fudge!

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I’ve been doing a lot of baking lately because we are moving from South Carolina to Delaware in just a few days and I am trying to use up as much of my baking ingredients as I possibly can. I found this recipe for healthy fudge and I just so happened to have the ingredients I needed for it, so I whipped it up about an hour ago. Let me tell you, it is divine! And super easy! 

Here’s what I used:

  • 1/2 cup organic coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup organic honey
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons all-natural cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons all-natural peanut butter + more for swirling 

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Method:

1. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper. 

2. Warm your coconut oil in the microwave for about 15 seconds, or over the stovetop until it is in liquid form. Next, stir your honey into the coconut oil. Then, stir the cocoa powder and peanut butter in until combined. 

3. Pour mixture into loaf pan. 

4. Drop a couple of spoonfuls of peanut butter onto the top of your fudge and swirl it in with a knife. Freeze for a minimum of 15-20 minutes. Store in the freezer. 

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This stuff is so rich and delicious! And you can’t beat the time and effort it takes to throw it together. It would be a great party food if you are looking for something quick and easy to do at the last minute!

 

I found this recipe at: http://www.foodiefriendsfridaydailydish.com

 

 

 

 

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe (Made with Almond Flour and Coconut Oil)

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I made chocolate chip cookies tonight using:

  • 1/4 cup organic coconut oil
  • 1/8 cup organic agave nectar
  • 2 tablespoons organic honey
  • 1 antibiotic-free egg (room temperature) 
  • 2 teaspoons all-natural vanilla 
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-natural almond meal/flour 
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup all-natural chocolate chips 

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Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 

2. In the food processor, (make sure you use your dough blades and not your sharp blades) cream your coconut oil, agave nectar, honey, egg, and vanilla until smooth (about 15 seconds).

3. Add your almond flour, baking soda, sea salt, and chocolate chips and mix until combined (about 30 seconds).

*I had to stir with a spatula after both steps 2 and 3.  

4. Spoon balls of dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet. With a small piece of parchment paper, smash down your dough balls to make them flat because they won’t spread too much.

5. Bake for 9-12 minutes.

*These keep best in the fridge in an air-tight container.

*If you don’t have a food processor: I’m pretty sure this recipe would work using an electric mixer or mixing by hand. 

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I was shocked at how much these looked and tasted just like chocolate chip cookies made with flour, butter, and sugar. They are so good, but made with coconut and almond! This recipe is a much healthier alternative to the typical chocolate chip cookie recipe, and tastes the same, if not better! I highly recommend it! 🙂 

 

 

I adapted this recipe from http://www.againstallgrain.com: Real-Deal Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe.

Strawberry Chocolate Smoothie Recipe

ImageThis amazing bucket of strawberries is sitting in our fridge, so Josh suggested the other day that we make strawberry smoothies with it. I made my first one tonight using:

  • 1 cup fresh strawberries
  • 1/2 cup Stoneyfield organic strawberry yogurt
  • 1 cup all-natural dark chocolate Silk PureAlmond Milk 

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Throw it all in the blender and you get this…

ImageA perfect combination! I mean, who doesn’t love strawberries and chocolate? 

 

All-Natural Cookie Dough vs. Artificial Cookie Dough

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I’m sure most of us can say that in our lifetime we’ve eaten Pillsbury cookie dough, but have you ever stopped to look at what’s in the stuff? Hopefully with this post I can convince you to either start making your own dough, or look for natural/organic options. 

Take a look at the ingredients in Pillsbury Big Deluxe Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough:

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Enriched Bleached Flour: I talked about this in my processed bread post but if you haven’t read that let me fill you in a little. The word “enriched” in food should always be avoided. See how its followed by a list of vitamins? Enriched just means that so much good has been taken out that scientists in a lab have to go in and biochemically engineer our food to add a fake version of vitamins. Think about it: fruits and vegetables have tons of vitamins and minerals, but you don’t see a list of them on the package. When I buy organic carrots, the bag says “ingredients: carrots”. And bleached? Yeah, that means what it sounds like it means. Your dough has been bleached to be the color that it is. Natural dough doesn’t have to be bleached and looks fine. Doesn’t this make you wonder why they would have to bleach it to make it look attractive enough for you to want to buy?

Vegetable Oil (palm, canola, and soybean): There is a really good chance that these oils are all GMO. For more info on Genetically Modified Organisms, check out the link at the bottom of the page to the Non-GMO Project’s website. 

Semisweet Chocolate Chips and Hershey’s Semi-Sweet Mini Kisses: The milkfat here is most likely not rBGH free, soy lecithin in most cases is GMO (if the food is not labeled all-natural or organic), and artificial flavor is self-explanatory.

Eggs: Probably in this case not antibiotic-free. 

Artificial Flavor: This shows up three times in the ingredients list: in the chocolate chips, as vanillin in the mini kisses, and again at the bottom of the list.  

Has any of that convinced you yet not to eat these? Let’s take a look at a better option. The Immaculate Baking Company makes a number of all-natural and organic pre-packaged and convenient products. They make everything from cookie dough, biscuits, scones, sweet rolls, crescent rolls, and pie crusts, in all-natural, organic and gluten-free options.

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Let’s look at the ingredients in their All-Natural Chocolate Chunk Cookie Dough:

Organic unbleached wheat flour, organic light brown sugar, chocolate chips (sugar, chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, soy lecithin, vanilla extract, ground cocoa beans), organic palm fruit oil, organic evaporated cane juice, whole eggs, chocolate chunks (sugar, chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, chocolate liquor processed with alkali, soy lecithin, salt), water, sea salt, organic invert cane sugar, vanilla, baking soda, baking powder.

Doesn’t this sound like a much better option? And in my opinion, these are way more delicious, too! The times that I’ve bought them, they’ve been on sale 2/$5 and the Pillsbury cookie dough was $3.50 each. I’m starting to see Immaculate Baking products in more conventional grocery stores, but if you don’t find them, you can most likely buy them at your local health food market.       

Sources:

Egg, Potato, and Bacon Breakfast Casserole Recipe

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Last night was a breakfast for dinner kind of night and oh my word, did I discover my new favorite casserole recipe! I’d never made this before, but it’s definitely going on my “make-again” list. 

Here’s what I used: 

  • 5 slices of thick, all-natural, nitrate-free bacon, broken into pieces
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • Garlic Garlic seasoning from Tastefully Simple or you can use 4 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 8 cage-free, antibiotic-free eggs
  • 1 cup organic milk
  • 2 cups all-natural, rBGH-free cheese
  • 3 cups all-natural frozen diced potatoes (non-GMO)
  • 2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon pepper

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Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Grease a 9×13″ baking dish.
  3. Cook your bacon in the oven on a foil lined baking sheet. Just pop it in when you preheat the oven and it should be done in 15-17 minutes.
  4. Cook your onion, yellow bell pepper, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, and 1 teaspoon of salt in a skillet over medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes.
  5. In a separate (large) bowl, beat eggs and whisk in milk. Whisk in your other teaspoon of salt, and the pepper. Stir in frozen potatoes, cheese, bacon and vegetables. 
  6. Pour into your greased baking dish.
  7. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. 

I am not kidding…this was the best! And simple…you know I love that! 

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I found this recipe at http://www.thekitchn.com 

Why I Buy Natural Mascara

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Doing a little research into what’s in your mascara is scary stuff! I discovered the Environmental Working Group’s website a few years back when I was wearing chemical makeup products, and it played a huge role in my stepping into action to find good makeup products for myself, and to spread the word to other women about how harmful many of the beauty products out there can be. Let me challenge you to pull out your makeup bag, stop by www.EWG.org and type the names of your products in the search bar. It’s very eye-opening! (No pun intended.)

In their book, No More Dirty Looks: The Truth about Your Beauty Products, Siohban O’Connor and Alexandra Spunt quote, “[D]o you really want formaldehyde releasers, mercury, SLS, coal tar, petroleum distillates, vinyl, parabens, phthalates, and triethanolomine dripping into your eyeballs? Us neither, and mascaras often contain all of them at a time.”

Let’s compare Rimmel Lash Accelerator Mascara to Physicians Formula Organic Wear Fake Out Mascara. According to the Environmental Working Group’s website, Rimmel Lash Accelorator scores in the high hazard range for being detrimental to our health. Some of the ingredients listed are BHA, Retinyl Palmitate, Propylparaben, Ethylparaben, Methylparaben, and Butylparaben. According to the EWG:

  • BHA is linked to endocrine disruption, allergies/immunotoxicity and organ system toxicity.
  • Retinyl Palmitate is linked to biochemical and cellular level changes, cancer, developmental/reproductive toxicity and organ system toxicity.
  • Parabens should be of concern because they are linked to developmental/reproductive toxicity, ecotoxicology, endocrine disruption, allergies/immunotoxicity and biochemical and cellular level changes.

Now look at Organic Wear Fake Out Mascara. (Click on the image to enlarge.)

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This is only one example of scary mascara, but really, go to EWG.org and check out what’s in yours. If wearing natural mascara can do a little in preventing what I listed earlier, why wouldn’t you? And just in case you were thinking natural mascara is way more expensive, Physicians Formula is about the same price as Almay, CoverGirl, Maybelline, Rimmel, etc. And, in my opinion, it does a better job at staying clump free and boosting lash volume. And, of course I feel way better about putting ingredients from nature around my eyes instead of chemicals from a lab that could be harmful to my health.

Sources:

  • No More Dirty Looks by Siohban O’Connor and Alexandra Spunt
  • ewg.org
  • physiciansformula.com