Brunch Club was a hit - we are GRATEFUL for the amazing help and everyone who came together to celebrate a Sunday. We had a wonderful time sharing about seasonal foods and enjoying a gluten-free, organic feast made with whole ingredients. We're already wishing we had some leftover coconut whipped cream! Hope to see you all again for March Brunch Club on the 14th. Happy Monday :)
Change isn’t always easy, but all we can do is embrace it and CELEBRATE it. At Brunch Club we’ll be saying farewell to the winter harvest before welcoming the bright vegetables of spring. Come enjoy a three-course meal and learn about the importance of eating for the seasons. All ingredients are organic, local, vegetarian friendly, and free of gluten and refined sugars. You’ll take home new recipes and connect with some awesome people. Check out photos from January Brunch Club to see what you’re in for.
There’s also an optional yoga practice before brunch (10am). Francesca Gobeille will be starting us off with a gentle, all-levels yoga practice to ease in the day. Visit Francesca's website to learn more about her teaching practice.
Hope this menu makes you ‘MMMMMmmmmmm’ as much as us!
Green Winter Smoothie
A balanced blend of seasonal fruits and vegetables with an added superfood bonus of spirulina, seeds, and raw honey.
Kombucha by House Kombucha
Lavender lemonade House Kombucha.
Grindstone Bakery Gluten-Free Bread with Homemade Almond Butter
Served with sides of fresh bananas and ground cinnamon.
Sweet Potato and Brussels Sprout Scramble (Vegan Option Available)
Organic eggs and vegetables cooked in coconut oil and seasoned with warming spices. Topped with herbs and served with avocado.
Grapefruit pancakes with coconut whipped cream
Coconut flour pancakes with fresh grapefruit zest and cinnamon. Topped with coconut whipped cream, pure maple syrup, and sliced kumquats.
Apple pie breakfast bars
Raw dates, apples, coconut, almonds, cinnamon and sea salt.
Sounds amazing, doesn’t it?! Get your tickets on Feastly. See you on 2/22 .
Like most foods, dairy has it's controversies. Is it good or bad? If you Google 'dairy and health' you will find thousands of articles supporting why it's good, and thousands supporting why it's bad. We grew up believing that milk is essential for bone health. Truth is, you don't need milk to be healthy nor to get these important nutrients that you would get from milk - calcium, potassium, and vitamin D. There are various reasons why one might omit dairy from their diet: being vegan, lactose-intolerant, paleo, casein sensitivity. Everyone has their own opinion on dairy, but my advice is: If you're going to have it, make sure it's good quality. Dairy isn't how it used to be anymore. It now comes packed with hormones and antibiotics. Reading the label is crucial when selecting dairy products. Learn what's in it and where it's coming from. Whatever it contains will be ingested into your body.
I personally don't include dairy in my diet because I am lactose intolerant. I may have it every now and then (about once a month), and when I do, I choose organic and local goat or sheep as they are easier to digest.
Aside from being a discomfort for those with lactose intolerance, dairy is acidic and can cause inflammation for anyone. This is why I suggest to consume in moderation, about 1-2 times per week, and get calcium from other nourishing and anti-inflammatory foods.
Non-dairy foods rich in calcium:
- Sesame seeds (more than milk)
- Collard greens
- Mustard greens
- Beet greens
- Turnip greens
Here are some healthy alternatives to dairy products:
- Milk: coconut milk, almond milk, cashew milk, hemp milk, oat milk, flax milk - homemade milk is best to avoid preservatives and additives. Recipe for almond milk here.
- Yogurt: coconut yogurt, chia pudding
- Butter: coconut oil, ghee (clarified butter - free of dairy)
- Ice cream: coconut ice cream, rice milk ice cream, blended frozen banana, thick smoothie. Try my vegan chocolate-coconut ice cream, it's delicious.
- Cheese: cashew cream/cheese, nutritional yeast (sprinkle it on food for a cheesy taste)
One of my favorite dairy alternatives is cashew cream. It's simple to make and so delicious. Cashew cream can be used as a dip, spread, dressing, pasta sauce, pizza sauce/cheese, burger topping, and anything else you can think of.
1 cup cashews, soaked in filtered water for at least 2 hours
1 clove garlic
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 cup water or vegetable broth (or less for thicker 'cheese')*
juice of 1/2 - 1 lemon
pinch of sea salt and black pepper
Optional flavorings: fresh rosemary, red chili flakes, fresh thyme leaves, dried herbs, nutritional yeast
- Soak cashews anywhere from 2-4 hours. Drain and rinse.
- Place in blender with the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth.
*The amount of water or broth you use will determine the consistency. Only use about 1/2 cup of water to get a more cheese-like consistency. Play around with liquid measurements and see what you like best.
What's your favorite dairy alternative? Please share in the comment section below.
It's not summer yet, but I'm already craving (and testing) all the amazing treats I want to create on those sunny days to come. My first test was this delicious and ridiculously simple chocolate-coconut ice cream. I always thought of ice cream as something that was impossible to make at home. Even using an ice cream maker seemed like a lot of work for me, and I never felt the need to try to make it at home since ice cream is not usually my go-to treat. Then I visited Bi-Rite Creamery in San Francisco and had their chocolate vegan ice cream and life was different. That ice cream is always worth the 30 minute wait. Since trying Bi-Rite Creamery, I knew I had to come up with my own healthy version to avoid indulging again. And that I did.
I still don't have an ice cream maker, but that is not necessary for this recipe. Making vegan ice cream turned out to be very easy. All I used was a blender and a glass container to freeze the ice cream in. The best part is that I only used 4 ingredients and the ice cream is gluten-free, dairy-free, and refined sugar-free. It couldn't be better if you ask me. It's a perfect guilt-free treat or snack for adults and kids.
Please try this recipe and share below how yours turned out. Feel free to substitute pistachios with any type of nut.
1 can coconut milk (make sure to use full-fat, otherwise, ice cream won't be creamy)
3 Tablespoons raw cacao powder
1/4 cup coconut nectar or raw honey
1/4 cup chopped pistachios
pinch of sea salt
- Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.
- Pour in glass container or dish and place in freezer for 6-8 hours, until completely firm.
- Serve scoops using ice cream scooper (or eat straight from container, which I may or may not have done)
A few months ago I discovered that I am sensitive to nuts. I know, I felt like my life was over, especially since I was the almond butter queen. I had it every single day and more than once. Perhaps why the sensitivity flared. I used to often get bloated and gassy after eating nuts but never thought anything of it since it wasn't every time or I just wasn't aware enough to make that connection. It wasn't until I did a thorough elimination diet/detox (similar to my 3-Day Detox Plan) that I realized that indeed nuts where causing stomach bloating and inflammation. So although they're packed with nutrients and have great health benefits, my body does not agree with them anymore. And that's okay because there are so many other foods that I can get those nutrients and snack fix from. It's just a matter of getting creative, there are always alternatives.
So I discovered this delicious and creamy sunflower seed butter. If you already purchase sunflower seed butter, do yourself a favor and make your own at home. It is so much better than the store-bought kind and doesn't contain refined sugars and other unnecessary additives. Always read your labels.
4 cups raw sunflower seeds
2 Tablespoons melted coconut oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
pinch of sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Place sunflower seeds on baking sheet and toast in oven for 6-10 minutes, until slightly golden. Check at 6 and 8 minutes. It's important to keep an eye on them because they burn easily.
- Let cool for 10 minutes and place in food processor. Process for about 7-10 minutes. The seeds will release their oils and go from a flour, to a crumbly, to a creamier consistency. Be patient, it takes time. At this point, with the processor still running, add remaining ingredients and process until it reaches desired creaminess.
- Transfer to jar and keep at room temperature or refrigerated for up 2-3 weeks.
Makes ~ 2 cups
Let me know how yours turns out! Share below or tag me in your picture #apurifiedlife
These chocolates are the perfect treat to have at home to avoid the white stuff (refined sugar). They're delicious and ridiculously easy to make. The chocolate base is 3 ingredients, that's it! Then you can add your flavorings and toppings of choice. If you like very dark chocolate, omit the sweetener and just use spices to sweeten. My favorite are turmeric and maca powders.
1/4 cup raw cacao powder
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2-1 Tablespoon coconut sugar or raw honey
Optional Flavorings and Toppings
Raw nuts and seeds
- Mix all ingredients in a small bowl. If adding flavorings, add them now.
- Place mixture in chocolate molds or in a small dish lined with parchment paper. Top with desired toppings and place in freezer until firm (about 20 minutes).
- Remove from mold or dish. Store in the refrigerator or freezer.
Have you ever read the ingredient list of your store-bought tomato sauce? You'd be surprised to find that it's most likely loaded with added sugar, preservatives, and excess sodium. I got in the habit of reading labels years ago. It's amazing to find what is in products that are even labeled "all-natural," "organic," "sugar-free," etc. Point is, why spend money on these products that are not good for our health when they're so easy and more flavorful to make at home? Preparing your own sauces, dressings, and dips is fun and provides lots of health benefits.
There are many types of tomato sauces out there. This is my go-to base recipe. It's so simple, yet full of flavor. You can add different herbs and spices to make it your desired flavor (i.e. roasted garlic, chiles, etc.). Use sauce on vegetables, grains, chicken, or fish.
8 Roma tomatoes
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove
1 teaspoon red chili flakes (less or more to taste, I like mine spicy)
1/4 red onion (optional, gives it more spice)
Juice of 1/2 lemon
small handful of fresh basil
sea salt and black pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 425 F.
- Place tomatoes on a glass baking dish or parchment-lined baking sheet and roast in oven for 15-20 minutes, until tender and skin has cracked.
- Let tomatoes cool for a bit and once manageable, take skin off and discard.
- Place tomatoes and remaining ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust if needed.
Makes ~2 cups
This granola is one of my favorite treats. It is grain-free, gluten-free, low in natural sweetener, high in healthy fats, and packed with energy boosting ingredients. It won't give you that sugar crash other granolas and cereals may give you due to their high amounts of refined sugars and oils. I sweetened this green granola with coconut sugar, which has a low glycemic index and won't spike your blood sugar. So what makes it green? Spirulina powder (Click the link to see the brand I buy). Spirulina is a nutrient-dense superfood that has great health benefits and is a great supplement to a healthy diet. Spirulina has a strong and overpowering taste, but just a little bit provides great nutrition. The taste can be masked with fresh fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats (add it to your smoothies and you won't even know it's there). Check out my Superfood Ice Popsicle recipe for another nourishing spirulina treat.
Aside from spirulina powder, I also used maca root powder and mesquite powder in this recipe. These are two other 'superfoods' that contain lots of health supporting nutrients even if using small amounts. Both maca and mesquite powders have a nutty, sweet taste to them. I often use them in recipes to add sweetness without having to add an actual sweetener.
This green granola has the perfect balance of bitterness and sweetness to take care of that sweet craving, but also provides a nutrition punch. I crave it all the time but only let myself make it every so often because it's so addicting. Even though it's addicting, it's still good for you compared to store bought granolas. You can enjoy it sprinkled on yogurt, chia pudding, or in a smoothie. Eat it dry as an afternoon snack, or pair it with almond or coconut milk to make a delicious healthy cereal.
2 cups coconut flakes
1/2 cup chia seeds
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeeds
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/4 cup raw sesame seeds
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-2 teaspoons spirulina powder (I used 2 tsps)
2 teaspoons maca powder (optional)*
1 Tablespoon mesquite powder (optional)*
1/2 - 1 Tablespoon coconut sugar (I used 1/2 Tbsp)
pinch of sea salt
*maca and mesquite powders are optional, but since they add sweetness to the recipe, you might want to increase the coconut sugar a bit if you omit them.
- Preheat oven to 225 F.
- Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
- Spread out on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for about 25 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let cool. Store in a sealed container.
Makes ~3 cups
It's about that time. Pumpkin everything! Although I prefer starting my day off with greens, today I decided to switch up my green smoothie for a non-green but still nutrient dense smoothie. Pumpkin spice came to mind. And it was perfect.
Pumpkins are not only delicious and great to bake/cook with, but they also provide good nutrition. They are high in fiber, high in antioxidants, and low in calories which provide health benefits such as: aid weight loss, support immunity, support vision health, and reduce risk of cardiovascular and heart disease.
Here is my version of a pumpkin spice smoothie. Protein is optional, but it is great for stabilizing blood sugar and keeping you full longer.
1 heaping scoop of protein powder (I used brown rice protein powder, unflavored)
1/2 cup pumpkin puree (unsweetened, homemade or canned)
2 medjool dates, pitted (can use a banana to sweeten instead)
3/4 cup coconut water (can use nut milk)
1 Tablespoon sunflower seed butter (can use any nut/seed butter)
1 teaspoon maca powder (optional)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
6 ice cubes
- Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Serve.
- Garnish with coconut flakes, nuts, seeds, or more cinnamon.
Makes 1 serving