Kale Salad with Cod

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I know this isn’t a very wintery recipe, but I crave fresh light meals once in a while! Don’t get me wrong, I do love my hearty comfort foods, but this is a nice change. I tweaked this a few times until I liked the combo of vegetables and the tangy-ness of the dressing. I do want to advise you to use wild caught and American fish. Fish is one of those things that sound healthy, but often will have sneaky additives that you don’t want in your body. I’ve been reading horror stories about tilapia and other commonly farm raised fish. If you are lucky enough to reside near the coast, I not only envy you for obvious reasons, but you have the advantage of enjoying fresh fish. As an upstate resident, don’t take it for granted!

Switch up your winter routine with a fresh twist on dinner tonight. Oh and did I mention this is FAST and EASY?? I guarantee it will be on your table within a half hour. Plus it will be such a great leftover lunch if you happen to have any leftovers!

Ingredients:
1 lb. fresh cod or salmon
1 lemon
salt and pepper
4-5 cups baby kale
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. dijon mustard
1 apple, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1 cucumber, chopped
1 sweet potato, roasted (or poked with a fork and microwave on high for 3-4 minutes)
1 avocado, chopped

Directions:
1. Juice 1/2 the lemon and add to the cod or salmon. Sprinkle the cod or salmon with salt and pepper. Broil the cod or salmon in the oven for 5-7 minutes or until the fish is cooked through.
2. In a small bowl, prepare the dressing by combining the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey and dijon mustard. Set aside.
3. Prepare the salad by mixing the baby kale, apple, tomato, cucumber, sweet potato, and avocado. Add the dressing to the salad.
4. Once the fish is done, top the salad with the fish-serve and enjoy!

Sheet Pan Rosemary Balsamic Chicken and Veggies

March has certainly lived up to its reputation of coming in like a lion. We have had warm weather, snow weather, and frigid weather. No matter what the weather, time is trucking along and I can rest easy knowing spring is right around the corner. And who doesn’t get comforted by the idea that spring is coming?!
There are some recipes that I just really enjoy making. I don’t love cooking every time I’m in the kitchen but I do enjoy this recipe. It is easy to clean-up and the smell is so aromatic you’ll be counting down the seconds until the oven timer goes off.
I’ve seen many sheet pan meals online but haven’t quite liked them enough to make them. I discovered a recipe similar to this one and thought to myself how much I loved every ingredient listed. This led me to this deliciousness. There is something so satisfying about putting everything onto a sheet pan and calling it a day! Not to mention…the satisfaction of knowing you’re getting protein, vegetables, and bacon all dressed with balsamic dressing. As much as I love balsamic, it can be quite overpowering. This recipe is a great balance of flavor (from the balsamic) and texture (from the apples, brussel sprouts, and onion) that it will please any crowd. I’ve also been cautious with sheet pans because I don’t like eating food that all tastes the same. This does not do that! I can’t explain it but it goes together so nicely without blending too much and loosing the uniqueness of each character. This is great alone or you can make a pot of rice or quinoa to accompany the dish!

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Ingredients:
1.5 lb. chicken breast or thighs, cut into bite size pieces
12 oz. brussel sprouts, halved
6 slices bacon or turkey bacon, chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
2 granny smith apples, cored and chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 cloves of garlic
juice of 1/2 lemon
3-4 springs of fresh rosemary, chopped

Directions:
1. Prepare the marinade by combing the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, lemon and 2 springs of the rosemary in a blender. Combine until smooth.
2. Place the chicken along with most of the marinade in a large bowl to marinade. You can marinade the chicken for 15 minutes or a full 24 hours if you have the time.
3. Place the brussel sprouts, bacon, red onion,apple, and chicken onto a large sheet pan. Drizzle any remaining dressing over the pan.
4. Bake in a preheated oven of 375 degrees and cook for 25 minutes. Increase the temperature to 425 for 10 minutes to brown and crisp everything up!
5. Top with remaining rosemary serve and enjoy:)

Paleo New England Clam Chowder

We went to Chowderfest in Saratoga a few weeks ago and I’ve had a hankering for chowder ever since. I have to admit, I did indulge a bit while I was there, all for inspiration of course;) I’d love to say everything went great and I felt fabulous afterwords but that wasn’t the case. I would get excited when I saw a vegan or gluten free chowder, but knew the likelihood of it being free of everything I try to avoid was slim to none. I’ve been so disappointed lately of the restaurants not having JUST what I’m looking for. Oh well I guess I’ll just have to open up my own:)

Okay so now for the happy ending…my newest creation that is LIFE CHANGING. Okay not life changing, but it’s opening me up to a whole new world that I can thank a nut for. I’ve always been intimidated to make my own “cashew cream” and often steered clear of recipes that used them. I decided to take a risk and make this paleo chowder and give it a whirl. I not only loved how the chowder turned out but want to put cashew cream in EVERYTHING. Don’t be intimated like I was and neglect to step out of the box for so long. I’ve got a few tips for you to make sure yours turns out just as good as mine did. I dare you to invite over your friends and family and see if they can tell a difference. Trust me, I’ve tasted a lot of chowder lately! Being pregnant, I have definitely indulged much more than I have in the past few years, but I always end up paying for it. It was such a relief to make something so delicious and savory and healthy! …and for it to be a comfort food perfect for these cold winter days. This is such a fun recipe to make and it will have your chowder on the table in an hour tops.
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Serves: 4-6 people
Ingredients:

1 cup raw cashews
1 1/4 cup water divided
3-6.5 ounces chopped clams and their juice ( be careful of hidden ingredients and buy just clams in their juices)
3 cups seafood stock ( again…be careful of what else may be lurking in this! I found a great one at Whole Foods by the brand Imagine)
3 stalks of celery, diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 lb red potatoes, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons tapioca starch
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons coconut oil
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Boil 3/4 cup of water. In a small bowl, place cashews and boiling water to soak. Set aside for later.
2. In a large sauce pan, place prepared celery, carrots, and onion along with 2 tablespoons of coconut oil. Cook on medium heat for 5-7 minutes to soften. Add salt and pepper.
3. Add the juice from the clams, seafood stock, and potatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer for 10-12 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, prepare the cashew cream. Drain cashews and place in a blender with 1/2 cup of fresh water. Blend for 1-2 minutes or until the cashews are completely creamy.
5. In a small bowl, place tapioca starch. Add 1 cup of the chowder broth to the bowl. Mix completely until smooth (I did this in the blender to be sure there was no clumps at all).
6. Add the cashew cream, tapioca combined with broth, and clams into the saucepan. Remove bay leaves. Simmer until warm throughout, about 3-4 minutes. Add additional salt and pepper as desired. Top with fresh parsley or crispy bacon. Enjoy:)

Peanut Butter Heart-Shaped Cookies

With Valentines Day right around the corner, it’s hard not to be bombard with “love”. By “love” I mean, the artificial, buy a large stuffed animal, eat expensive food and be stressed to plan the perfect night kind of “love” that truly couldn’t be further from how love is meant to be expressed. Not trying to sound like such a cynic, but we are surrounded by such false ideas of love that I cannot help but long for true love, which I’ve found only to be built on a foundation with the true God. So although I don’t see anything wrong with celebrating the ones you love, don’t get caught up in the artificial nature of it all with its fleeting nature and empty rewards. We get so caught up with our busy lives, it is nice to take some time and enjoy the people who bring us the most happiness.

I know I post many peanut butter desserts…but I enjoy them so. And peanut butter is just the greatest consistency when it comes to gluten free cooking. This is a marriage of two recipes, one of my own peanut butter cookies and one inspired from a vegan recipe. I’ve modified my original recipe slightly but the ingredients are the same. I don’t usually cook with this much sugar in a recipe…but I wanted the consistency to be good for molding the hearts. I had so much fun making these cookies and they are just so cute when they are done! You will likely have all these ingredients in your pantry or fridge so really…go get baking:)

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Ingredients:
1 cup of creamy peanut butter ( I used almond butter and peanut butter 1/2 cup of each)
1 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup baking chocolate (I used Enjoy Life chips)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • In a large mixing bowl, mix peanut butter, brown sugar, egg, vanilla, and baking soda until completely combined.
  • Roll two tablespoon-sized balls and combine them together to make a heart (this was a trial and error for me-in the end, you  just need to make small heart shaped cookies so whatever method you find best–do:)
  • With a fork, press down on both sides of the heart.
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes.
  • Once the cookies are cool, make the chocolate. With a double broiler, melt the baking chocolate until smooth.
  • Dip the cookies in the chocolate covering half of the heart.
  • Cool and enjoy!

Makes about 10-12 cookies

Lemon Chicken Thighs with Risotto

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After an e x t r e m e l y long month of January (it was beginning to feel 3 months long) I was skipping into February with a smile on my face. It’s been a hard balance to not wish away the months of pregnancy and preparation for baby when all I want is to hold this precious miracle. And now we are nearly ten days into February and baby boy will be here in just three months, pending if he wants to arrive on his due date or not!!!

My food journey throughout this pregnancy has been an interesting one to say the least. I always thought being pregnant would give me drive to be healthy unlike ever before, but boy was a wrong. You won’t ever hear me judging you if you need to wake up at 2 in the morning to eat a cheese stick and cereal. My love for comfort foods has blossomed into a need for some old staples with a new twist. Which brings us to this recipe. Get ready…

I can’t remember the last time I made a recipe, ate it, then went straight to the computer to write it down. This recipe should inspire you to walk, no run, to your nearest grocery store to purchase these ingredients so you can enjoy this for dinner tonight. This risotto is so full of flavor and richness, you won’t believe its dairy free. I think this may be the best risotto I’ve ever tasted, and I just want everyone I know and love to try it. Chicken thighs are the chicken rejects that should be given more attention than they do. I think choosing chicken thighs with bone and skin is a must for this recipe. The skin just traps the moisture into the chicken and it becomes so tender and full of flavor. Letting the skin crisp up in the oven for a final broil makes for a delicious crust.
This recipe takes a little bit of love and time, but it will taste like you’ve been slaving away all day, when really it only takes an hour or so. I suggest prepping everything first before you start cooking since it all moves pretty quickly in the beginning to ensure everything comes out.
Promise me you’ll let me know if you make it! And invite a friend over so you can enjoy a good meal with friends, the best way to dine!

Chicken
1 1/2-2 lbs. chicken thighs (bone in, skin on)
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
2 tablespoons coconut oil

Risotto
2 tablespoons coconut oil
4 gloves garlic, minced
1 onion finely chopped
1 1/2 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup milk ( I used unsweetened coconut milk)
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Additional: fresh lemon juice, fresh chopped parsley, lemon zest

Directions:
1. Prepare the chicken by mixing the lemon zest, pepper, salt, and dried basil into a small bowl.
2. Rub the seasoning all over the chicken with your fingers. Be sure to get under the skin.
3. In a large dutch oven or oven safe pan, heat 2 tablespoons coconut oil on high heat. Let the dutch oven heat up for 1-2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium high. Add the chicken to the dutch oven skin side down. Cover and cook for 3 minutes. Flip chicken and continue cooking for another 2 minutes. Flip a final time and cook for 2 minutes.
4. Remove chicken from dutch oven. Wipe out dutch oven to remove any excess oil.
5. Add coconut oil to the dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add garlic and onion and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes.
6. Add arborio rice to the dutch oven and stir constantly for 2 minutes or until the rice turns translucent.
7. Add the wine, stirring constantly until the wine is mostly evaporated.
8. Add milk, chicken broth, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer (about 2-3 minutes) stirring once at the beginning.
9. Return the chicken back to the dutch oven and cover. Cook over low heat for 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
10. After 20 minutes, Place covered dutch oven into the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove cover and cook for additional 5 minutes. Broil on high for 5 minutes.
11. Plate each serving with fresh parsley, a squeeze of a lemon, and lemon zest. Serve and enjoy!

Seared Scallops and Risotto

I’ve fallen IN LOVE with risotto. I don’t know if its the richness of the rice or the high flavor, but I’m completely won over and can’t get enough. Many risottos I’ve tried contain heavy cream and cheese, which can be a bit much. I have perfected this recipe that is just as delicious without the heaviness of a ‘typical’ risotto. It is the perfect comfort food and pairs beautifully with scallops. My scallops are extremely basic but I think they have so much flavor on their own that you don’t need many other ingredients. And who doesn’t love a simple recipe?
This recipe is wonderful since it looks amazing but its really not complicated. The timing for prep is important since you want to serve the scallops fresh. I tried to give you my best detailed instructions to ensure your dinner will be just as delicious as mine was. Indulge a little bit and enjoy something so delicious! Spoil yourself and feel like you’ve made a restaurant quality meal in the comfort of your own home:)

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Ingredients:

Scallops
1/2 lb of scallops (you can do scallop pieces or bay scallops but I love the whole)
1 tablespoon olive oil or coconut oil
salt and pepper to taste

Risotto
1 cup uncooked risotto (aborio rice)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt

Wilted Greens
3 large handfuls of spinach or kale
1-2 tablespoons olive oil

Honey Glazed Carrots
1 bag baby carrots
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon honey

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. In a small bowl, mix olive oil and honey until combined. On a large baking sheet, sprinkle carrots out evenly. Drizzle the oil and honey mixture over the carrots, massaging the carrots to coat completely. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, flip, then continue baking for another 15 or until tender.

2. Cook the risotto in a saucepan with the liquids and salt until boiling. Cover and simmer on low heat for 20 minutes.
3. In a large skillet, saute raw spinach with olive oil, covered until completely wilted. Set aside.
4. Once the risotto and spinach are cooked, prepare a cast iron skillet for the scallops. Let the skillet heat up for 3-4 minutes on high heat. Once the skillet is hot, Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil or coconut oil. Sear scallops on one side and cover. Cook for 2 minutes. Flip scallops and cook for another 2 minutes. If you prefer a mildly raw center, remove from heat. If you prefer a more cooked center, turn off heat and let scallops cook for another 1-2 minutes.
5. To assemble, place risotto in the center of your place (I did about 1/2 cup cooked risotto per person). Next, place wilted greens onto of the risotto followed by the baby carrots. Top with scallops. Finish with fresh lemon juice, a drizzle of olive oil, parsley and sea salt.

Crepes

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Having a week off of grad school, work, and everything else I put on hold for Christmas vacation means more time for breakfast! These crepes were incredible and I cannot wait to make them again! If you are as big of a crepe fan as I am, you know that these basic crepes can be filled with anything your heart desires. I sometimes go online and browse menus to see what creative crepes are out there. Since I wanted something sweet, I went for mixed berries and topped with pecans and a dusting of confectionery sugar.
I’ve had quite the sweet tooth these days *cough* blaming it on the babe *cough* and am trying to control it slightly, but being on vacation makes it ever so difficult as I often give myself a break to indulge a bit.

Yields 5 crepes

Ingredients:
1/2 cup water
4 eggs
2 tablespoons coconut flour
1 tablespoon coconut oil (room temperature NOT melted)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
2. Cook crepes in a thin layer in a non-stick skillet. Flip once when sides begin to lift from pan.

Tips…
The thinner the crepes, the better! Swirl your skillet around to thin out batter. If your skillet has ANY chance of batter sticking, add a coconut oil to each round of crepes. Don’t over cook them! You want them soft. Depending on your stove top and how hot you keep the temperature at, they should only take 3-4 minutes to cook. These crepes keep well in the refrigerator so make a double batch and enjoy all week!

Fill with your favorites!
*Mixed berries
*Orange slices
*Top with nuts and syrup
*Warm almond butter
*Sauteed veggies and scrambled eggs

Hot Cocoa and Gingerbread Cookies

There is just four days until Christmas and I can honestly say I am more at ease and organized than ever before. I have really been trying to savor moments, which means taking time for myself, taking time for my family, and simplifying my life as much as possible. All of this is mostly done in order for more couch time and cookies:) In all seriousness, this pregnancy has made me more at peace and relaxed than I have ever been in my life. I am so blessed to be able to say that! Is it perspective? Hormones? All I can solidly say is that I am grateful for every second of this pregnancy journey. I’d like to imagine this is one of multiple pregnancies, but as I have been reminded numerous times, I am not the one in control!

Now for the goodies! I’ve been experimenting with some delicious Christmas cookies this year. With my super sensitive noise and growing appetite, I feel like I can’t get my hands on enough! These are gingerbread cookies are chewy (not crunchy) and so full of flavor. My hot cocoa recipe is adapted from a dear friend so I cannot claim all the credit here. I do have to warn you–this hot cocoa is not sweet like most! It’s like drinking a warm decedent dark chocolate liquid brownie. Uh…I’m at a loss for describing this because that description doesn’t sound like it should! You’ll have to try it for yourself. All this talking about it makes me want to make some and snuggle up by the tree.

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You’ll have to pardon to low quality cookie picture…Cannon was dead and Iphone was the best I could manage.

Hot Cocoa

Yields 2 mugs of hot cocoa

Ingredients:

2 cups of milk (I used coconut milk)
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 tablespoon semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life dairy free chips)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. In a medium saucepan, cook the milk until just boiling (about 3-4 minutes).
  2. Stir in unsweetened cocoa and whisk until smooth.
  3. Add semi-sweet chocolate chips until combined and smooth.
  4. Stir in vanilla extract.
  5. Ladle into mugs and enjoy!

Notes:

This is not sweet! Add honey, coconut sugar, or maple syrup to sweeten. Add a peppermint stick to make your hot cocoa have a minty, festive kick!

Gingerbread Cookies

Ingredients:

1 cup almond flour
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground giner
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons melted coconut oil
1 tablespoon molasses
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick spray or parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the almond flour, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Whisk together the melted coconut oil, molasses, maple syrup, and vanilla extract.
  4. Incorporate the wet and dry ingredients until dough forms.
  5. Using a cooking scoop, drop onto cookie sheet (about 1 tablespoon of dough). Press down slightly on top.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 8 minutes. Cool and enjoy!

 

 

Merry Christmas from our growing family to yours:)

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For this child I prayed. 1 Samuel 1:27

Although I primarily use this site for wholesome eating, I have a story that I believe needs to be told. I am not overly personal to many people, but when I feel the Holy Spirit convicting me of something, I know better than to avoid it.

Last winter, we had an answer to prayer.

Dale and I had always dreamed of having a family of our own and I was finally catching up to him in agreeing that at 25 years old and nearly a year and a half of marriage was a good place to begin our family. We had so many wonderful adventures as a married couple, never really going through newlywed hardship, and I had savored all my selfish time of having Dale all to myself. I was excited to start this journey of babies and child rearing, especially with someone I’d been committed to for nearly ten years (yes we had been dating since 2006). I’m sure many couples fall into the thought process of thinking the second we begin wanting a baby, it would surely happen. Life got busy and as months past by, I thought it’s okay we aren’t pregnant yet, because now we can experience this! We had weddings, parties, vacations, and so much more that made the reality okay to deal with.

Fall 2015, our lives started to slow down and the absence of a baby started to sting. I wanted this now. I wanted to be like so many of these cute young families who were having adventures with their babies. In November, after numerous failed pregnancy tests, I in secret took and passed a pregnancy test. I had never experienced this feeling of disbelief, excitement, fear, and just being so stunned. I watched anxiously for Dale to come home to tell him the news. The test was positive, but we were so shocked, we took another one just to be sure. Like many couples these days, we decided to wait to tell our families since we had heard this was the safest thing to do. We spent four joyful days planning out the nursery, picking out names, looking at announcements, planning on how we’d tell our families (which included ordering t-shirts) all while fantasizing about our new family. We had prayed off and on that week, thanking God for answered prayers while we quietly celebrated our accomplishments. It was only a few short days later that we had a clear sign that this was not God’s timing for us. I had miscarried our first baby. The sorrow that comes with miscarriage is so hard to put into words and I cannot describe this to you unless you have physically gone through it yourself. I had felt emptied. Robbed of something that I had treasured so much. Dale was given unbelievable strength to comfort me, comfort that I now know only could have come from Christ. Instead of telling our parents we were having a baby, we had to share with them that we had lost a baby. It was so difficult and not at all the way I had imaged anything happening.

Holidays had faint pain as I had to deal with reality rather then the fantasy I had dreamed of. In January, our church challenged the congregation to read through the Bible. Dale and I had both decided to take the challenge. As months past, we were baffled at how many women all throughout the Bible struggled with conceiving. Children were prized, much different than in today’s culture, and passing down the family name and legacy was pivotal to one’s life. I knew that God had His on them, but I couldn’t believe how many times in scripture it had referred to God closing or opening her womb. I noticed that it never had anything to do with a schedule or family planning methods or even desire. Desire to further HIS kingdom. I had started to find myself with a new mindset. I didn’t want to have children for my own sake. Of course I still had a desire so strong, at times I would be overwhelmed with sadness. This was a desire that was driving me to His Word, His people for support, and fellowship with women who needed my strength as much as I needed theirs. Dale and I started to pray for children if God deemed it fit for our ministry here on earth. We had no doubt grown so much closer to God through this time. God knew that we could handle this type of trial and knew that good would come out of it. Although this truth was powerful and uplifting, we still fell privy to relinquish control that we had to give up daily to Christ.

In August 2016, we had felt more than ever at peace. We were both striving to keep our prayer for God to do what He desired for our family and that our longing would be for Him and anything of this world. We had planned vacations, spent time with family, and continued to fall more in love. Right before we left for Boston, a trip we had been planning for nearly five years, I took my second positive pregnancy test. As excited as I was to see two little pink lines claiming I was pregnant, I was scared. We spent our vacation dealing with my anxiety over the pregnancy. Each day, the fear became fainter and I clung onto the prayer I had prayed that we wanted whatever God deemed fit for our lives. We told our parents right away along with other close friends who we knew would lift us and our sweet baby in prayer. Our focus was much different this time as we humbly prayed over this child.

As I sit here, smelling the fresh Christmas tree in my living room, four months pregnant, I cannot tell you the joy I have. As I’ve shared this story with others, many have come forward to tell of a similar story. I don’t believe any of this is coming from a place of pity, but to bring awareness of those hurting. I struggled with telling people of our pregnancy since I know how hard it was for me and Dale to hear of yet another baby on the way. This is a story of God’s grace and provision. For us at this time in our life, it’s a baby. Last year, he provided a hunger for His Word that strengthened our relationship. I thank God for this pregnancy but  even more for the gift of His Son that He sacrificed so that we can have a relationship with Him.

 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Balls

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Well it’s been far too long since I’ve updated at My Wholesome Table! I’m sure you can imagine how busy life gets and then one thing comes up, then another, and pretty soon it’s almost November! If you’ve ever had any experience blogging, you know the ups and downs that come along with creativity and the passion required for keeping up it up. I’ve been inspired to post again and I thought there was no better recipe than a healthy candy just in time for Halloween.
I’ve never been a big fan of this holiday ( I feel like you either live for it or wish it didn’t exist) but I am a big fan of candy. I’ve had to temper my sweet tooth as my knowledge on processed foods, high sugar intake, and the addiction  of such foods has grown. I turned to fruit to be the sole source of sweetness in my diet, however, I then found myself so addicted to fruit, it was unhealthy. If you are anything like me, you struggle with balance…and we’re not just talking food here! I have found myself at a healthy point in my life where I feel like I’m not depriving myself of the goodness this world has to offer nor the goodness my life entails when I eat foods that better myself. Balance. It’s so hard to achieve but brings forth the most happiness when achieved.
I spent my weekend in the Adirondacks at a retreat, being filled spiritually and connecting to an incredible God.  Being the homebody that I am, I don’t always love the idea of leaving my home for an entire weekend, husband-less, but the restoration that takes place is…hard to put into words. And it finds its way of revealing itself once Monday morning rolls around (and who doesn’t love that bit of joy on a Monday morning!!).
The recipe today is my peanut butter chocolate balls. Growing up, these were called ‘buckeyes’ and were loaded with sugar and butter. I’ve modified them to fit my current sweet tooth and my diet. I also make them small because of how rich they are. Instead of reaching for a high fructose, high fat, high sugar, processed and modified candy, take fifteen minutes and make something that will be equally satisfying sans the poison.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Balls
Ingredients
3/4 cup creamy natural peanut or almond butter
3-4 tablespoons honey (depending on how sweet you want it)
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate (I use EnjoyLife df,sf,gf chocolate)

1 tablespoon coconut oil

 

Directions 
1. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the peanut butter, honey, and coconut flour. Once combined thoroughly, add the vanilla.
2. Prepare a double broiler to melt the chocolate (I use a glass bowl on top of a small saucepan filled about an inch of the way with water)
3. Melt chocolate and coconut oil until smooth.
4. Carefully dip the peanut butter balls in the chocolate and set on a parchment paper.
5. Keep in the freezer or refrigerator until ready to eat.
Thanks for visiting and happy eating:)