dairy-free

Carrot & Zuchinni Fritters

My best recipes mostly turn out to be the ones I throw together last minute and without much preparation. I love creating simple and delicious meals that anyone can re-create. 

This one is a weeknight favorite in the summer when carrots and zucchini are vibrant and abundant.

Enjoy these fritters on their own (they are filling) or with a side salad or vegetables. 

Ingredients

2 medium-large carrots, shredded (by hand or in a food processor)

2 zucchinis (or 1 zucchini and 1 summer squash), shredded

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1/2 cup oat or almond flour

2 eggs, whisked together in a small bowl

1 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Pinch of red chili flakes

To cook fritters:

2+ Tablespoons unrefined coconut oil

Procedure

  1. Place shredded vegetables over a paper towel for a moment and pat down some of their water. Transfer to a large bowl and add remaining ingredients, except coconut oil. Mix until all ingredients are well combined. Note: make sure to lightly whisk eggs in a separate bowl first. 
  2. With your hands, form patties with mixture. Heat coconut oil in a pan over medium heat. Add patties and cook on first side until lightly browned (30 sec-2 min depending on heat and pan). Flip and cook on the other side until browned as well. Continue until all mixture is used up. Note: You may need to add more coconut oil throughout cooking so patties don't stick to the pan. 
  3. Serve fritters with your favorite dressing or sauce. I love topping them with pesto (You can find some great pesto dressings/sauces in my summer Ebook). 

Makes ~6 large fritters

Happy Cooking! 

Gluten-Free {Kale} Brownies

There's a secret (not so secret) ingredient in these brownies. Yes, kale. And super delicious! 

I took an Ayurveda workshop this weekend, where I learned about my dosha constitution and what foods were suggested to make me feel better, and what foods could cause an imbalance in my body. Surprisingly, kale was on the 'avoid' list because my body prefers sweet, warming foods. Kale is bitter and can be cooling to the body. Nothing wrong with that, just learning that my body wants warmth and grounding. It's important to listen to the cues it gives us. 

I came home from the workshop, I opened my fridge and saw this large bunch of kale sticking out at me. I wanted to find a creative way to use it that might benefit my body more, so I immediately thought of adding it to a dessert, of course. Any excuse to make dessert. I made two desserts yesterday! Nourishing, refined sugar free, and decadent desserts. Mmmm yes, please. 

I had made kale brownies before but didn't write down the recipe, per usual. This recipe was a completely new - made up by my intuition and the little baking knowledge I have. I'm not a master baker (yet), but these brownies are winners!

Enjoy. 

Ingredients

4 large kale leaves, stems removed

2 large organic eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla 

1/2 cup spring or filtered water

1/2 cup melted coconut oil

1/2 cup pure maple syrup

3/4 cup gluten-free flour (I used a blend of buckwheat and brown rice flours)

3/4 cup raw cacao powder

1/2 cup coconut sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Procedure

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Place first six ingredients in blender or mixer and blend until smooth. 
  3. Transfer to a bowl and whisk in remaining ingredients. 
  4. Line an 8 x 8 baking dish with parchment paper or grease with coconut oil/organic butter. 
  5. Pour mixture into dish and bake for 20-30 minutes, checking at 20 minutes. Brownies are ready when toothpick comes out clean after inserting into middle of dish.
  6. Let cool for 10-15 minutes before cutting into squares. You may also leave it whole and slice like a cake. Sprinkle with shredded or cacao powder to decorate. 

 

Blueberry Basil Smoothie

I've been on a simplistic approach to meals these days. Lots of smoothies and simple vegetable bowls (I will share a few more of these recipes soon). It works quite well with my busy schedule and being on my feet all day. I like the lightness of these meals so I can continue energized throughout the day. 

Being able to digest our food is so important, but it's hard to do so when we're rushed and adrenaline is going. When we don't digest our food properly, our bodies respond with bloatedness, gassiness, heartburn, and feeling overall uncomfortable. 

Feeling like this after every meal is not ideal for anyone. I personally went years feeling like crap after every time I ate thinking it was normal. When we're bloated and gassy, our bodies are stressed and expanding tons of energy to try to get back to a relaxed state. Proper digestion itself takes up a lot of energy, that's why when we eat large meals, we feel tired afterwards and it can be hard to think. Not super ideal for midday when there's still lots of energy to expand on other things. Eating wisely is key! 

There are things that could help digestion such as sitting down for a meal in a quiet place away from all electronic devices, breathing deeply before and during meals, eating lighter meals, drinking your meals (blended foods are predigested for us!), avoiding fluids with your solid meals (unless drinking your meal, of course), avoid foods that cause you bloatedness and indigestion (usually processed foods, refined sugars, processed and inorganic dairy, gluten (for some), and fast food), and chewing your food! We undermine chewing and it's key for proper digestion. 

Below is one of the quick smoothies I've been making for myself while the delicious berry season continues. Try it yourself. Feel free to add raw seeds, nuts, or your favorite organic plant-based protein powder for extra protein. 

What do you do to stay nourished in the midst of your busy schedule?

Ingredients

2 cups frozen wild blueberries

1/2 cup fresh blackberries (or berries of choice)

1 cup raw coconut water

andful fresh basil leaves (about 1 cup, or more to taste)

1 Tablespoon sunflower seed butter (Homemade recipe here)

1 teaspoon raw honey

Juice of 1/2 lemon

Pinch of sea salt

Procedure

  1. Blend all ingredients together until smooth. Top with extra blueberries or berries of choice. 

 

Captures of Summer Brunch

What a heart warming thing it is to come together with amazing people and enjoy super delicious food. 

I'm blown away by the incredible outcome and support at our summer brunch. I just love sharing nourishing food with people and seeing a huge smile on their face. Truly grateful and filled today. 

Here's a glimpse of how much fun we had.

Stay connected with us to hear about upcoming events and more!


Mole Sauce

Growing up, chicken mole was one of my favorite dishes. Sometimes my mom would buy the sauce that came in the jar - ready to serve. 

When I embarked on my health journey, I got curious about everything I was putting into my body. Reading labels and ingredient list was key for me when buying packaged products. Now, 95% of my food is fresh and does not come in a package, but there's the exception of products like raw honey, extra virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar, etc. 

I was amazed by the not-so-healthy ingredient list of the mole sauce in a jar. It was something along the lines of processed sugar, hydrogenated soybean oil (trans fat), cornstarch, cocoa (processed, not the same as raw cacao), and natural flavors (GMOs). 

Mole became a special occasion dish for me (I believe in balance), until I went to holistic nutrition culinary school and learned how to make mole sauce from scratch with delicious whole ingredients. 

There are many versions of mole sauce. It originated in Mexico and was traditionally made with chili peppers, nuts, spices, and chocolate. I've made a few different recipes out there, but this one from Bauman College always seems to leave everyone wanting more. 

I'm sharing this recipe with you with hopes that you'll be as excited as I was to make and enjoy the full nourishment from homemade mole sauce. It's quite the therapeutic process and can be made in large batches and frozen for later use.

Ingredients

8 dried ancho chilies, stemmed and seeded 

2 dried chipotle chilies, stemmed and seeded

2 Tablespoons raisins

2 Tablespoons raw almonds

1/4 cup raw sesame seeds

1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds

2 Tablespoons raw pumpkin seeds

1/2 teaspoon black peppercorn

1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano

1 Tablespoon coconut oil or ghee

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon cumin

3 fresh plum tomatoes, chopped

A few pinches of sea salt

1-3 ounces dark chocolate, 70-80% cacao (I used my Superfood Chocolate bars), to taste

Procedure

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Place the seeded dry chilies on a baking sheet and toast in the over for 5-10 minutes, checking frequently. When the chilies begin to release their aroma, take them out of the oven. Make sure to not let them burn. Add the toaster chilies to a bowl with the raisins and cover with warm water. Allow to soften for 30 minutes then drain out liquid, reserving liquid for later use.
  3. Place almonds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds on a baking sheet and place in over (350 F) for 3-5 minutes to toast. Watch closely to make sure seeds don't burn. Remove from the heat and let cool.
  4. In a medium pot or pan over medium heat, warm the coconut oil/ghee, add the onion and sauté until translucent. Add the garlic, cinnamon, and cumin and cook for another minute. Add the tomatoes and cook for a few minutes, until softened. Transfer vegetables to a high-speed blender along with soaked chilies, raisins, nuts and seeds. 
  5. Puree the mixture, adding a little water or vegetable stock as needed, to make a smooth sauce. 
  6. Return the sauce to the pot on low heat. When the sauce begins to simmer, stir in the chocolate and allow to melt. Taste the sauce and season with salt as needed. If you want it spicier, add some of the chili soaking liquid. If the sauce is too thick, thin it out with a little water or vegetable stock. 

Makes about 4 cups of sauce. Recipe adapted from Bauman College Staff.

Matcha Mint Acai Bowl

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I'm sure you've all seen the beautiful acai bowls popping up at your local shops. I think it's great that we have easier access to these superfoods such as acai and matcha now, which do not originate in our country but are packed with incredible nutrients that support longevity and overall wellbeing. Did you know that both of these foods are two of the top foods highest in antioxidants? Antioxidants are essential vitamins that help our bodies kill off and prevent free radicals, which form in result to cell damage due to acidity in the body from high levels of stress (physical/emotional/mental), highly refined sugars and processed food intake, smoking and alcohol, and environmental toxins. An excessive amount of free radicals in the body leads to disease, illness, and aging at early stages. As an added bonus, antioxidants support beauty and skin health.

That said, let's get some antioxidants in you!

In my opinion, the best part of having access to these wonderful foods is that we can recreate our own goodies with even higher nutrient value and unrefined ingredients at home.

Below I'm sharing one of the many acai bowls I've created. I intentionally added the matcha to this one, not only for it's antioxidant content, but for a nourishing afternoon energy boost that won't spike blood sugar.

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Ingredients

1 frozen acai pack (I use Sambazon)

2 cups frozen wild blueberries

1 yellow peach, pitted and chopped

1/2 cup spring or filtered water - just enough to help blend but not too much so it doesn't thin out

2 Tablespoons sunflower seed butter (or any nut/seed butter of choice)

1 Tablespoon raw honey (or 1-2 medjool dates)

2 teaspoons Encha Matcha Culinary Grade - Amazing quality!

Generous handful of fresh mint leaves

Juice of 1 lime

Pinch of sea salt

Procedure

  1. Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. You may need to use a spatula to move things around a few times. It's meant to be a thick sorbet-like consistency.
  2. Top with toppings of choice. I topped mine with some homemade gluten-free granola and fresh blueberries.

Serves 1-2

I hope you enjoy this recipe and share with me what variation you come up with!

xx,

Giovanna

Captures of Yoga & Superfood Smoothies Workshop

What a wonderful weekend. We were so happy to share smoothies and knowledge with everyone at the Yoga & Superfood Smoothies Workshop on Saturday. There was some great Q & A and hopefully everyone is trying out their new recipes this week! We're grateful for Dave Ford's yoga practice, our amazing helper, Maddy Smith, the beautiful well-lit space (aMuse Art Gallery & Meeting Place) in the Mission, and everyone who brought their good energy. It was pretty cool to do yoga in an art gallery. Let us know if you'd like to see a similar event, we'd be happy to host if there's interest - contact Regina at reginafelice@apurifiedlife.com

xx

Citrus Cream Tarts

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Taking advantage of the wonderful citrus season to make all creations possible. These little tarts are simple and sweet. I know you'll enjoy them.

Ingredients

Crust

½ cup raw sunflower seeds

15 soft medjool dates

½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut

½ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon sea salt

Citrus Cream

1 cup coconut cream

1 Tablespoon coconut nectar

½ teaspoon vanilla

¼ teaspoon sea salt

Zest of ½ lemon

Zest of ½ orange

Juice of ½-1 lemon

Procedure

1. To make crust: Place all crust ingredients in a food processor and process until mixture holds together when pressed with fingers. Line a small pie pan or 3-individual size pie pans with parchment paper and press mixture into bottom and sides of pan. Place in the refrigerator while you make filling.

2. To make filling: Place all citrus cream ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust sweetness if needed. Pour cream over crust and place in freezer for about 30-45 minutes, until filling has set.

3. Once tart cream has set, garnish with desired toppings and slice to serve.

Beautiful pictures by Micaela Hoo.

Captures of Valentine’s Day Chocolate Making Workshop

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There’s no such thing as getting your hands dirty when it comes to chocolate. But if there were, I guess you could say that’s how we spent our Valentine’s Day. At the Chocolate Making Workshop we made rose and fig truffles, chai spiced chocolate mousse, and dark chocolate bark. Everyone got to build their own dark chocolate bark with nuts, seeds, fruit, and superfood powders. There was a lot of love in the air (and in the chocolate) on Saturday! We’re grateful for everyone’s great energy and company.

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