Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Balls

I don’t know about you, but we’re still in the midst of that post-Halloween buzz. The house is full of all kinds of treats and little snack-sized chocolates, and they’re all just calling out my name. BUT… I’ve been REALLY good at cutting out processed sugar this past month and I don’t want to fall back so I knew I’d need a healthier sweet alternative available that was just as delicious and quick & easy to grab to help satisfy my sweet tooth.

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In came the idea of “Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls”. I’ve tried them a few times at health food stores and often wondered ‘how hard would it be to make a batch of my own’? Plus, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are hands down one of my all-time fave treats. That chocolate & peanut butter combo seems to hit the spot each & every time. So I set to work to try to make my own version that would be both delicious and wholesome. I usually have a bunch of healthy ingredients on hand, so I looked through my pantry and came up with this quick & delicious recipe. The main star is the all-natural (icing-free) peanut butter and raw cacao, then I added in some oats, chia seeds, and flax seed along with maple syrup and a few dates to sweeten it up!

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These were super easy to make and Asiyah loved getting her hands right in there and helping me make the balls (and also been more than happy to help eat them too!). I promise you, if you love chocolate and peanut butter as much as I do, you will LOVE these. Be sure to give them a try and, as always, tag me in your pics so I can see your creations!

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Ingredients:

1 cup, Oats (I used steel cut oats and blended them first)

2 tbsp, Almonds

2 tbsp, Flax Seed

2 tbsp, Cacao Powder

1 cup, All-Natural Peanut Butter (meaning, no added ingredients other than peanuts, esp no icing sugar)

3 tbsp, Maple Syrup

2 Mejdool Dates

2 tbsp, Hemp Seeds

1/2 tsp, Vanilla

pinch of Sea Salt

Coconut Flakes (optional, to coat)

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Method:

In a food processor or blender, first grind the oats, almonds and flax seeds until they become similar to a powder-like consistency. Then add in the rest of the ingredients. Blend and pulse to break down and mix all the ingredients together (you might have to stop and scrap down the sides). If you feel the mixture is too thick, add a little water to get the dough mixing (1 tbsp at a time). Scoop out with a spoon and shape into 1-1.5 inch balls.

Feel free to coat the balls in coconut flakes, crushed nuts or keep them as is. Keep them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week!
Makes 20-25 balls .. if you don’t keep eating them as you go along ;)

Green Chutney

Looking to kick your meals up a notch? I‘ve been adding this green chutney to just about everything! It’s got such a nice mix of spice and flavour and adds a tasty kick to whatever you’re having. In addition to using it as a topping/dipping sauce, I’ve also been adding it into my marinades and curries as well as combining it to yogurt when I’m making ‘raita’ to get some of that delicious flavour.

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The secret ingredient here is the coriander. This chutney lasts for week, so it’s just the thing when you’ve got a bunch or coriander lying around in the fridge, threatening to go brown.

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Green Chutney

Ingredients:

1 small bunch Coriander
5-6 Green Chillies
2 cloves Garlic
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
2 tbsp Lemon Juice
¼ cup Olive Oil
½ tsp Salt

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Method:

Blend all ingredients in a blender or food processor. You may find you have to stop & scrape down the sides a few times with a spatula. Once all the ingredients are well combined, taste and adjust any of the ingredients based on your preference.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-2 weeks, or in the freezer for a few months.

Enjoy!

Coconut Curry Butternut Squash Soup

It’s that time of year, pumpkins and squash are popping up everywhere. The temperatures are getting colder and it’s the perfect time for soup! This is a fun twist on your traditional butternut squash soup. The addition of red curry paste and coconut makes it spicy, rich and full of flavour. In addition to all the health benefits you’d be getting from the butternut squash, it’s also high in fiber, potassium, vitamin B6 and folate. The perfect soup that will fill you up and keep you full long after :)

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Ingredients

  • 1 medium-sized Butternut Squash, seeded and cut in half lengthwise

  • 1 tablespoon Olive oil

  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced

  • 1 small Yellow Onion, diced

  • 1 teaspoon Ginger, freshly grated

  • 2 tablespoons Thai Red Curry Paste

  • 3 cups Chicken or Vegetable Broth

  • 1 (15-ounce) can Coconut Milk, divided

  • Juice of 1 Lime

  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt, plus more to taste

  • 1/4 teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper, plus more to taste

  • 1/3 cup Cilantro, chopped, to garnish

  • 1 small Lime, cut into wedges, to garnish

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Method:

Preheat oven to 375 Degrees - Cut the Butternut squash lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Rub some olive oil, salt and pepper on the inside of the squash and place on a baking sheet with skin side down. Place in the oven and roast 30-40 minutes, until you can poke a knife into the flesh easily. Remove skin.

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add in the garlic and onion, and saute until soft and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add in the ginger and curry paste and stir to combine with the onion and garlic. Cook for 3 more minutes, stirring often.

Pour in the stock and mix well. Add in the cooked butternut squash and slowly pour it in while stirring to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Cook for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes.

Blend soup (in the pot with an immersion blender, or pour the soup in batches into a stand-alone blender) until smooth. Before serving, remove the soup from the heat and mix in the coconut milk (saving a few tablespoons to garnish) and lime juice. Mix well. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

When ready to serve, drizzle the remaining coconut milk over each bowl and garnish with fresh coriander and lime wedges.

Enjoy!

Coconut Chia Seed Pudding

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Here’s a tropical twist on your regular chia seed pudding.  The best thing about this pudding is that you can make a batch ahead of time and then keep them ready-to-grab, perfectly pre-portioned breakfasts or snacks throughout the week. The coconut milk adds a rich flavour not to mention some healthy fats that will keep you feeling full longer. I love to switch up the fruits toppings (based on whatever I have on hand), but mango and coconut just go so well together.  

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Ingredients (amounts per 1 serving)

  • 1 ½ cups Coconut Milk

  • 2 tbsp Chia Seeds

  • 1 tsp Maple Syrup

  • ½ tsp Vanilla

  • ¼ tsp Cinnamon

  • Fruit to top (here I used mango, peach and blueberries)

  • Shredded Coconut

  • Toasted Almonds

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Method:

I like to prepare and portion out the puddings in separate 250mL mason jars (although any container with a lid will do). Line up the jars and first add in your coconut milk then your chia seeds. Mix well, since the chia seeds might like to hang out at the bottom. Add in the vanilla, maple syrup and cinnamon and mix well once again. Let the pudding sit for a few minutes to thicken up while you cut up the fruit. Give it another quick mix and add in the fruits, coconut and almonds to the top. Cover and store in the fridge for up to 4 days. Feel free to add in more fresh fruits & nuts when you’re about to eat.

Enjoy!

Chicken Noodle Soup - a healthy twist on an old fave!

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Soup that will soothe your soul! This recipe came about on a busy weekday when I was scrambling to find a quick, healthy and filling dinner. I settled on Chicken Noodle Soup, but instead of falling back on my traditional recipe, I tried coming up with a healthier take, and .. voila! A new delicious family fave was born! You know you’ve won when they say “it tastes like restaurant soup”, and they ask you to please make it this way every time

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This recipe is super simple and will win over even the pickiest eater. I’m sharing the basic recipe below, but feel free to add in a few more veggies (for example, I’d added mushroom and spinach into the mix as well).

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs chicken legs & thighs (skinless)

  • 2 tbsp grated fresh garlic

  • 2 tbsp grated fresh ginger

  • 4  tbsp soy sauce, divided (I like to use ‘BRAGGS liquid aminos’ as a substitute)

  • 1 tsp fish sauce

  • 1 tsp chilli garlic sauce

  • 2 tbsp oil (any unflavoured)

  • 1 medium white onion chopped

  • 2 medium carrots peeled and grated

  • 1 ½ cups frozen corn

  • half bunch coriander, washed

  • 10 cups chicken stock

  • ⅓ packet of rice noodles, thick (around 200g)

  • Salt and Pepper to taste

  • 1-2 tsps Sriracha (optional)




Method:

Wash chicken and marinate in 2 tbsps soy sauce, fish sauce, garlic, ginger and chilli sauce. Let the chicken sit while you cut the onions and carrots and any other veggies you’d like to add. Heat a large stock pot on medium high heat and add oil. Once oil is heated, add in the chicken and let brown for 3-4 minutes per side. Chicken does not have to be cooked through.

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Remove chicken from the pot and set aside. In the same pot, add in onions and cook till onions start to soften then add in grated carrots. Mix well, add in chicken stock and bring to a boil. Once stock comes to a boil add the chicken back in, bunch of coriander, corn and rice noodles,  reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 25-30 mins.

Remove  coriander and chicken from soup, take the meat off the bones, shred to whatever size you like and add back in to soup. Mix well and taste the soup, add in salt and pepper to taste and add in sriracha sauce to taste.

Serve soup with fresh coriander and extra sriracha.  Enjoy!