recipe

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! 

Colorful Cauliflower Stuffed Bell Peppers

Cauliflower is such a versatile vegetable and so delicious! So much can be done with it besides roasting, such as cauliflower mash and cauliflower rice. This stuffed bell pepper magic I'm sharing with you today is made with 'rice' made out of Romanesco (green cauliflower) and purple cauliflower.

The natural colors of vegetables blow me away sometimes. Every color pigment has it's own purpose and function in the body. The colors literally give our body specific codes as to what to do. 

Can you guess what green and purple color pigments do?

Here's a quick download of each: 

  • Green foods are liver cleansing and detoxifying. Hence why when we think 'detox' or 'cleanse' we think greens. 
  • Purple foods protect the central nervous system, the gut nervous system, and nourish the brain. 

Interesting, right? Nature is smarter than we think at times. Nothing is coincidence. 

This recipe is a variation of my first ever blog post over 3 years ago. What a trip it's been. My meals (and life!) are so much more colorful these days. Transformation is real. 

That's a whole other story. For now, I present to you these very pretty stuffed bell peppers that will color your world.

Ingredients

Cauliflower Stuffing

½ head purple cauliflower, coarsely chopped
½ head green/Romanesque cauliflower, coarsely chopped
1 carrot, diced
1 zucchini or summer squash, diced
¼ cup chopped parsley
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Splash of lemon juice
Pinch of sea salt and black pepper

Bell Peppers

• 3 bell peppers, halved longwise, seeds and core removed (type of bell pepper doesn’t matter, but we used 3 types to make it more colorful!)

Tahini Dressing

• ½ cup tahini
• ½ cup spring or filtered water
• 1 clove garlic
• Juice of 1 lemon
• Pinch of sea salt & black pepper

Procedure

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. To make stuffing: Place chopped cauliflower in food processor and process until it resembles rice. Transfer to a bowl and combine with remaining ingredients. Toss, taste and adjust seasoning if needed.

3. To stuff bell peppers: Place prepared bell pepper halves in an oven safe baking dish. Stuff each pepper with cauliflower stuffing. Bake in oven for 25-35 minutes, until bell peppers are tender.

4. To make tahini dressing: Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. If too thick, add more water until you reach desired consistency.

5. Serve stuffed bell peppers warm and drizzle with tahini dressing.

I created this recipe for Oh My Drifter. Photos by Micaela. 

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. 

 

Chocolate Cherry Chia Pudding

It's a rare day when I don't create some sort of chocolate concoction to nourish myself with. I used to feel like I was 'bad' for loving chocolate and eating it so much. I thought it was unhealthy. Until I learned the sacred and super nourishing benefits of raw cacao (Read more about cacao benefits here), then raw chocolate became a really happy and positive treat for me.

There's something about chocolate paired with cherries. I mean, two of the best foods this Mother Earth has gifted us! Do you agree?

I hope you can indulge too with my latest creation. As usual, the simplest ingredients make such a decadent treat.

I created this recipe for Oh My Drifter (photographed by Micaela). Click here for the cutest video of the making of this pudding. 

Ingredients

1 can full-fat coconut milk

1 cup frozen cherries

1/4 cup chia seeds

1/2 cup raw cacao powder

2-3 Tablespoons pure maple syrup

Pinch of sea salt

Procedure

  1. Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Let sit for 10-20 minutes to allow it to thicken. 

Enjoy every bite! 

Berry Breakfast Bars

Don't be fooled by the title of this recipe. These bars can be eaten for breakfast, as well as any time of day or occasion. I wrote this recipe a while ago and had not posted it, so I thought it would be fitting to share it for 4th of July weekend since it's colorful and festive. 

I sampled these bars out at several events the past month, and people went crazy for them. So simple, yet so flavorful. I'm all about making food easy to prepare while really emphasizing on taste and eye appeal. Luckily, with living organic whole foods, there's not much work to do because it's so pretty and packed with deliciousness. 

Ingredients

2 cups medjool dates, pitted
½ cup gluten-free oats
½ cup raw sunflower seeds or nut/seed of choice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Juice of ½ lemon
Pinch of sea salt
1 cup mixed fresh berries, chopped

Procedure

  1. Place all ingredients in food processor, except fresh berries. Process until ingredients are well combined and mixture sticks together when pressed with fingers.
  2. Transfer to a parchment lined dish such as a pyrex or cake tin. Press mixture down into pan to flatten out. Here you can decide what thickness of bars you want. Place in freezer for about 20 minutes.
  3. While bottom layer is setting, place mixed berries in food processor and pulse a few times to coarsely chop them up. You may leave a few whole ones out for decoration. Spread over date mixture and slice into bars.

I hope you are inspired to make this recipe for your celebrations this weekend. Please share your pretty creations with me on social media with #apurifiedlife, I love seeing them.

Recipe was created for Oh My Drifter blog and photographed by the talented Micaela Hoo.  

Happy 4th of July!

x,

Giovanna

Matcha Mint Acai Bowl

MatchaAcaiBowl Featured Image

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.

MatchaAcaiBowl
MatchaAcaiBowl

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

3 Key Ingredients for a Nourishing Smoothie [Video]

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A smoothie in the morning is my favorite kind of breakfast because it's quick, nourishing, and delicious. It's important that we know how to put together a balanced smoothie, so that it can provide us with lasting energy and leave us feeling full. Check out my latest video for my 3 Key Ingredients for a Nourishing Smoothie. These ingredients can be used as staples to create many different variations of smoothies. Get creative.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86JU7auuYkM

I'd love to hear what your favorite way of mixing these 3 ingredients is. Please comment below or share with me on facebook.

x,

Giovanna

 

Spiced Sweet Potato Wedges + Avocado Superfood Dip

Spiced sweet potatoes featured image

There's something about sweet potatoes. Don't you love them? I do! Sweet potatoes are the healthy alternative to regular potatoes because they actually pack a punch of essential vitamins and minerals. They are anti-inflammatory and help balance blood sugar. The words 'yams' and 'sweet potatoes' are often interchangeable. They are actually two different vegetables, but are both great options.

Staying clear of all whites is always best (white breads, flours, sugars, etc.), but there is an exception... Japanese sweet potatoes. They are white-light yellow inside and have a purple skin. These are actually the most nutrient dense of all sweet potatoes. So enjoy your sweet potatoes/yams, especially the Japanese ones!

Spiced Sweet Potato Wedges

Ingredients

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges (I used yam & Japanese sweet potato)

2 Tablespoons melted coconut oil

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon turmeric

Pinch of cayenne

Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Procedure

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
  2. Place sweet potato wedges in an oven safe dish.
  3. Combine coconut oil and spices in a small bowl and drizzle over potatoes. Mix to coat well.
  4. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until tender. Turn broiler on towards the end if you want them crispy.
  5. Serve with avocado superfood dip (recipe below).
Spiced sweet potatoes

Avocado Superfood Dip

Ingredients

1 ripe avocado

2 Tablespoons raw tahini

1 teaspoon spirulina (I use HealthForce brand)

1 teaspoon raw honey

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1/2 cup water, or to desired consistency

Procedure

  1. Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Garnish with fresh herbs and enjoy.

What's your favorite way to eat sweet potatoes? Share your creations and recipes below or on social media with #apurifiedlife

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.