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DIY Homemade Deodorant for Sensitive Skin AND Tonic Herb Toothpaste

DIY Homemade Deodorant for Sensitive Skin AND Tonic Herb Toothpaste

DIY Homemade Deodorant for Sensitive Skin AND Tonic Herb Toothpaste

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I don’t know about you, but I love making my own body care products. 
Ever since I changed my dietary lifestyle to a plant based, Eco-friendly one, 
I learned that what you put ON your skin (the outside) is just as important as what you eat (the inside).   To me, it was a real eye-opener! I look at everything I put on my skin and decide if it is something I would be willing to eat.  Why you ask?

Our skin is the LARGEST organ of the body.  What you put on it or come into contact with, the skin absorbs, assimilates and processes right into the bloodstream going full circle throughout the body.  Did you know that the commercial body care industry is one of the leading toxic industries in the WORLD? The very products that we shop our grocery stores and malls for consisting from hygiene, shampoo, soap, makeup, skin and body care are actually extremely toxic to our bodies in the way of carcinogens!  Synthetic chemicals, found in conventional body care products, are harmful to the human body and our planet.

There are over 10,000 chemicals used in personal care products including: carcinogens, reproductive toxins, endocrine disruptors, phthalates, nitrosamines, lead, heavy metals and formaldehydes. Parabens, used as preservatives in almost all products, are designed to kill cells and prevent growth of bacteria and fungi. Manufacturers may use almost anything as an ingredient and market products without the FDA’s approval. Some chemicals are allowed only at certain levels, but these levels accumulate from using many products containing chemicals. (source)  

Many deodorants (even those that claim to be “all-natural”) contain aluminum and/or aluminum derivatives. Aluminum serves as an antiperspirant…which we do NOT want. We want to sweat!  It is a natural process that helps rid our body of toxins and very important for our lymphatic system – which a large part of it is in our armpits.  Don’t stop the sweating – it clogs the pores, staunches the lymph circulation and causes many imbalances in the body.  These chemicals have been linked to Alzheimer’s disease and a  host of other horrific health concerns. Parabens are in many deodorants which are also downright despicable.

Before attempting to make my own deodorant, I went out and bought natural deodorants but not ONE would help keep the “funk” away.  We all have our own body chemistry and mine can be strong at times when working up a sweat and working hard.  I don’t mind sweating, but I do mind smelling. Stress is also known to amp up the “funk” smell in ones body (FYI).

I know there are tons of DIY deodorant recipes out there and believe me, I’ve tried several of them.  Many formulas out there use a lot of baking soda which I found out the “fun” way (sarcasm) causes an itchy rash in my pits – it happened to Scott also.  Not pleasant and doesn’t look good when you’re out in public and scratching your pits.  So, I got to researching and found several recipes that I played around with and came up with one that works for Scott and I. 

Benefits of ingredients:

(click on ingredient for source link)

* For iHerb.com orders – Enter coupon code KUG541 for $5  or $10 off 1st order + FREE SHIPPING *

Shea ButterUnrefined shea butter is high in vitamins A and E and is incredibly soothing for your skin.

Coconut OilRaw, unrefined coconut oil has wonderful antibacterial properties which is a perfect place for those pits. Coconut oil will liquify at 76 degrees; below that and it’s in a semi-solid state.   If you want, you can substitute almond oil.

Food Grade Diatomaceous EarthDiatomaceous earth is almost entirely silica, which is a crucial trace element needed by our bodies, and one in which many are deficient. By adding DE into your homemade deodorant, you are giving your sensitive skin a nice dose of DE (essentially, silica) which helps with sensitive areas of skin that might become rashy and it also helps to draw out toxins.

Bentonite clayBentonite, also referred to as Montmorillonite, is one of the most effective and powerful healing clays. Bentonite can be used externally as a clay poultice, mud pack or in the bath and, in skin care recipes. It has a very fine, velveteen feel and is odorless and non-staining.  A good quality Bentonite should be a grey/cream color and anything bordering “pure white” is suspect.

Arrowroot powder –  Arrowroot not only helps to serve as a thickener in this deodorant, but it also has the power to help draw out toxins. 

Essential oilsI like to use lavender, sweet orange, ylang ylang, geranium, grapefruit, lemongrass and just experiment with different combinations. Play around and see what oils work for you.

 

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Ingredients:

2 TB. shea butter

3 TB. coconut oil

6 TB. Arrowroot powder

1 TB. Bentonite Clay

1 TB. Diatomaceous Earth

1 tsp. baking soda (optional) this small amount does not cause irritation with me

20 – 25 drops essential oil/s of choice ( I used a combination of lavender, sweet orange and honeysuckle in this one)

Directions:

  1. Soften the coconut oil and shea butter in a double-boiler on the stove top on LOW for a minute or so.  Turn off heat and let cool a moment.  Then add remaining ingredients and mix everything together until smooth.  I have a mini food processor and will whip it up in that sometimes.
  2. Store in a jar to set up and label it.  I keep all of these homemade goods in used and washed jelly jars or random mason jars I have sitting around.  You can find some great sizes at local thrift stores for pennies. 
  3. The consistency of this deodorant is extremely spreadable. It will firm up in cooler temperatures/houses.  My house is warm right now so it is more soft paste-like.  I use my finger to dip out a SMALL amount (seriously…you really do not need much) and just rub it into my armpits.  Use too  much and you will probably mess up a shirt.

    The key to this application is to apply lightly and rub it in or let it soak in.  Use too much and you’ll  be wasting product and will likely mess your shirt. – See more at: http://www.sustaincreateandflow.com/how-to-make-your-own-deodorant/#sthash.tqnQBcJl.dpuf

     Keep it somewhere cool, or else it will melt. Apply as needed.

    The key to this application is to apply lightly and rub it in or let it soak in.  Use too much and you’ll  be wasting product and will likely mess your shirt.  – See more at: http://www.sustaincreateandflow.com/how-to-make-your-own-deodorant/#sthash.tqnQBcJl.dpufUse too much and you will be wasting product and likely mess up your shirt.
    The key to this application is to apply lightly and rub it in or let it soak in.  Use too much and you’ll  be wasting product and will likely mess your shirt. – See more at: http://www.sustaincreateandflow.com/how-to-make-your-own-deodorant/#sthash.tqnQBcJl.dpuf

 

Do you make your own deodorant?

 

Mineralizing Tonic Herb Toothpaste

Pearl PowderPrimarily, the nutritional value of pearl is amino acids and calcium, and the percentage of calcium can range from 30 to 80% of a pearl’s composition.  Brushing teeth with pearl powder provides some great preventative benefits. First, calcium coats and is absorbed into the teeth through its pores which can minimize pain from cold or hot sensitivities, plus the pearl provides a white sheen that can give the teeth a whiter appearance and a smoother luster; essentially, making the teeth look healthier and younger. Second, pearl powder heals the gums and makes them resistant to bacteria that can cause gingivitis; it can also help texturize the gums so they are not thin as well as prolong, and possibly prevent, receding gum lines.

Camu Camu –  is one of the best super foods for preventing gum disease. This amazing super food provides our bodies with endless benefits. It is the food with the highest amount of vitamin C in the world, and it also contains bioflavonoids. Studies show that a low immune system is one of the main reasons for unhealthy gums…and camu camu boosts the immune system like no other food.

Ingredients:

1/3 cup Bentonite clay or Diatomaceous Earth (or half and half of each)

2 TB. hot water

1 TB. coconut oil

pinch of pink himalayan salt or quality sea salt

7 capsules Pearl Powder – broken open

1 tsp. Camu Camu

1 TB. or so Baking soda

10 drops of peppermint oil (wintergreen is nice too)

5 drops liquid stevia – I use NuNaturals (or use 1 TB. raw honey)

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients and mix into a paste.  Add more water as needed for desired consistency.  Tweak flavor to your liking.
  2. Store in small container – remember those re-usable glass jars and label.

 

Check out my other DIY natural beauty skincare recipes:

Have a great weekend!

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My Healing Protocol for Candida

My Healing Protocol for Candida

My Healing Protocol for Candida

This post is long overdue to share with you all.  I have had many emails and friends asking me what I did to get my Candida overgrowth under control.  So, here it is.  Every little detail I researched, experienced and healed from.  I had candida for YEARS and didn’t know it.  I hope this post helps you on your quest to diagnose and heal yourself.   Be prepared – it is very long.

What is Candida?

Candida albicans (its official name) is a yeast that inhabits the mouths and intestinal tracts of all humans. That’s right! Everyone has candida. When you are healthy, the candida in your body lives in a symbiotic relationship with you. It will help to detect and destroy other harmful bacteria from harming your body, as well as helping to clean up any excess sugar that may be floating around in your bloodstream that your cells are not able to absorb.

Every time you eat, there will be a small candida “bloom” as the candida feeds on the sugars that are in your blood stream waiting to be ushered into the cell with the help of insulin to be used for energy. Then, once that sugar has been processed, the candida will reduce in number back down to their normal levels.

When there is an imbalance in blood sugar levels, candida will be given the opportunity to grow to a level that is not optimal for the human body.  It has the ability to morph into different structures and will take advantage of its host. 

While it is normal to have some candida in the gut, an overgrowth of candida is problematic. Like everything else, candida creates a byproduct. In this case, the byproduct of candida is toxic to the body. The more candida you have, the more toxicity it produces.  I had several of the symptoms listed below.   My symptoms were classic:  gassiness and bloating upon eating a meal – especially fruit, INTENSE itching all over body and especially in my nose (? I don’t know, but I did!) to the point it drove my crazy at times, lethargy, funked out, foggy headedness, stiff joints).

Candida  has been lead to several common issues such as:

  • Thrush – in the mouth or other areas of the body
  • Athletes foot
  • Poor Digestion (gas and bloating)
  • Headaches
  • Loss of appetite
  • Extreme sugar cravings
  • Rectal itching
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Brain fog – lack of ability to focus the mind
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Mood Swings
  • Itching
  • Acne
  • Rashes
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Soar throat
  • Low sex drive
  • Muscle weakness
  • Chronic pain
  • Weight gain

Other imbalances in the body can cause similar symptoms as well.  I feel it is important to rule out other issues like gluten or dairy sensitivity, adrenal burn out, blood sugar imbalance issues, emotional issues and even general fatigue before diagnosing yourself with candida overgrowth.  There are always “layers” to our healing process.

If you have several of the symptoms for a candida imbalance, following some simple steps for re-balancing your body should help move you in a healing direction whether or not the root issue is a candida imbalance, or if the candida imbalance is a symptom of another issue.  If you are experiencing many of the symptoms mentioned above, you may also want to go see a Naturopath or holistic practitioner just to be sure that there is not a deeper imbalance going on that needs professional attention. Never feel bad about seeking help. 

What Causes Candida To Grow Out Of Control?

There are several things that support a Candida overgrowth and thus lead to an imbalance.  Some of them include:

  • Blood sugar imbalances – Poor insulin receptivity of the cell or other reasons that keep sugars in your bloodstream too long.
  • Bacterial imbalance.
  • Over use of antibiotics without replacing lost beneficial bacteria (probiotics).  (All my life I had been off and on antibiotics till my early 30’s). I’m now 43.
  • A nutrient poor diet that is rich in refined carbohydrates (pasta, potatoes, rice, etc.), processed foods, cola drinks, etc.
  • A compromised immune system
  • Birth control pill (I took for over 10 years when I was on it – have been off it since age 29).
  • STRESS! depletes everything in the body on a physical, cellular and energetic level.
  • Lack of sleep and poor sleeping patterns.
  • These two things (stress and poor sleep) in particular will compromise your good bacteria balance, as well as your blood sugar balance.

As you can see, the causes can be multifaceted.   Our bodies are very wise and have many systems in place to protect us from things becoming unbalanced. It is when the body becomes overloaded with influences that are counter-intuitive to health and balance that issues like candida arise.  Our bodies are brilliant energy sources and if we just listen more and pay attention to little nuances and symptoms of it speaking to us – we would be far better along our healing journey. It took me a long time to listen (or even be aware of the fact), so just take it one step at a time and “be there” for yourself.

Do I Have A Candida Overgrowth?

Questions to determine if you may have Candida Albicans

1. Have you used antibiotics or birth control pill in the last 2 years?
2. Do you have gas or bloating?
3. Do you have sugar cravings?
4. Do you have low blood sugar?
5. Do you have history of yeast infections, vaginal, oral, athletes foot, or jock itch?
6. Does your partner have a history of yeast infections, vaginal, oral, athletes foot, or jock itch?
7. Are you sensitive to smells?
8. Are you sensitive to alcohol?
9. Do you suffer from symptoms that your doctor cannot explain like; headaches, migraines, depression, diarrhea, dizziness, IBS (Irritable Bowel syndrom), itching, menstrual or sinus problems?
10. Do you feel fatigued all the time?
11. Do you have a hard time concentrating?
12. Do you just not feel right?

I had candida for several years (if not longer).  I sort of suspected it for several months, but the symptoms had gotten worse and (upon learning more about Candida), I thought it was worth a try to do a cleanse.  I was able to confirm that I “officially” had Candida from an iridologist back in April 2011.  Muscle testing can also be utilized by a qualified holistic practitioner, yet if you don’t have access to these avenues, there is a simple test to do at home.  If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it may be time to do the At Home Candida Spit Test.

Candida Spit Test

This is an easy way to test for yeast overgrowth in your gut. When you wake up in the morning (before you eat or drink anything or brush your teeth) fill a glass with room temperature water. Then work up at least a dime-size amount of saliva in your mouth and spit it into the glass of water. You will be watching what happens over the next 30-45 minutes, looking for where the saliva goes.

  1. If it stays on top it indicates that there is not excessive mucous in your mouth harboring candida.
  2. If it grows tentacles that hang down toward the bottom you have some candida in your gut that likely needs to be addressed.
  3. If it sinks to the bottom you likely have significant candida overgrowth in your gut and you need to take action.

OK!  So, if you suspect or you’re pretty sure you have Candida overgrowth to some extent, what to do about it?    It starts with altering the diet.  A few dietary and lifestyle changes can go a long way to bringing your body back into the balance it naturally wants to be in. Remember that your body is designed for health. It wants to be and fights to be in balance. Choosing dietary and lifestyle habits that support your bodies natural balance will help lead your body back to balance.   You want to remove anything from the diet that will help feed candida albicans.

This includes:
  • all forms of sugar (white sugar, honey, maple syrup, dates, yacon syrup, coconut sugar, etc)   ** STEVIA is really the ONLY safe alternative and NuNaturals STEVIA was a life saver for me during this time (and still continues to be!)
  • gluten (wheat, barley, rye, spelt, oatmeal) –  No crackers, breads, etc.
  • packaged or processed foods (including meats)
  • condiments (ketchup, BBQ sauce, pickles, mustard, soy sauce) – hidden sugars and refined ingredients.
  • dried or candied fruit
  • Reduce or Eliminate Dairy – Dairy is one of the worst offenders when it comes to candida imbalances.
  • alcohol (no beer or wine)
  • Vegetables that are high in carbs (potatoes, peas, corn, winter squash)
  • non-gluten grains.  ** I didn’t have quinoa or millet just to be sure.
  • nuts, and fruits should be limited.  ** (green apples, pears and bananas (yes, BANANAS are OK) in moderation.  Even the iridologist guy said bananas were OK when on a candida cleanse.  Good!
  • These are the basis of the diet.
 
So you’re thinking, “What the heck DID you eat?!”  I used the following protocol for 60 days and it got those little buggers under control – back to being my friend rather than my foe. 
 
1)  Lots of veggies!  Any way you want it:  steamed, raw, blended, juiced.  I stayed away from carrots and beets during this time, just to be sure!  Avocados are great!  I did a lot of steamed broccoli and roasted veggies during this time.  Sweet potatoes and winter squash are great baked with goat cheese.  Baking the carrots and beets really cut down on their sugar content, I put those in from time to time.  LOTS of salads!  See RECIPES page for ideas.
 
2) More protein.  (No meat for me!)  I did opt for some organic eggs in the form of HEAVY VEGGIE frittata’s once a week with a large green salad prior.  Just practice proper food combining.  Food combining is also a HUGE factor in digestive health and made such a HUGE difference for me when I implemented it.  Still does.
 
3) Herbal teas and tonics are fabulous at strengthening the system and body.  Boosts immune system and increases energy levels.
 
4)  Have regular colonics (talk with your therapist about this) the first few weeks to flush the candida out of your system quicker.  If you don’t have access to colonics,  just implement enemas during this time and you’ll be fine.    With the higher protein usage, I got constipated a little more, so the enemas were good.
 
5)  Taking food grade diatomaceous earth can assist in killing the candida and allowing it to be removed from the system.  You can mix it in water  and drink it (neutral taste) to incorporate it into your diet.  First thing in the morning and before going to bed – for best results.   DE is great at killing parasites in the body also.  I periodically add this to my dogs food to assist with critters in their gut.  You can also go to your local feed and seed store and purchase very inexpensively – just ask for FOOD GRADE quality.
 
6)  I took a product that did wonders at speeding up the KILLING of those little buggers and getting the population under control.  It is called A.D.P. by Biotics Research Corporation – it is emulsified oil of oregano -natural anti-fungal, anti-biotic.  I started with one tablet at every meal then after a week, I went to taking 2 tablets with every meal.   I still keep a bottle on hand to use if I ever feel the symptoms pop up – not very often at all.  Within a few days of these supplements and changing diet, I am back to normal.  Remember, listen to thy body. 
 
 7) Coconut oil was very helpful!  I started with 1 tsp./day and worked my way up to 2 TB./day.  You want to start slowly, b/c it is so effective, the “die-off” from the yeast might be too fast and you’ll experience really bad detox symptoms – you don’t want that! 
 
8) I also employed SWEATING to detox and cleanse more effectively.  Infrared saunas are nice or just get out in the sun and sweat.
 
9)  Reduce stress and rest more!  This means taking more time for yourself in a loving, compassionate, SLOWER way.  Learn to slow down by practicing deep breathing (your yoga practice should have this down for you), but practice it when you are traveling to and from work, during work, during food preparation, anytime that you can consciously be aware of it.  When you sit down to eat, relax before you put food up to your mouth so that your body is calm and NOT stressed.  Eat in awareness – slowly – chew more – act like it is foreplay – take your time with it – make your meal something that is beautiful to you and for your body (I know this sounds weird, but it has been helping me).  Take a bite, put down utensil and enjoy the food, enjoy your company and chat, make meal time fun, with no distractions of smart phone, internet, tv, chaos, etc.  Some good music in the background is great!   
*SLEEP – When you sleep your body is busy repairing damage, filtering out toxins, absorbing nutrients and generally healing. Without adequate rest it is very difficult for the body to bring itself back into balance. Try to aim for at least 7.5 hours or more, if you can swing it.
 
10) Take a quality probiotic to replenish the GOOD flora and bacteria in the body to help balance out bacterial imbalances, and help to fight candida.  I made almond milk kefir (see recipe link below).  Great way to drink your probiotics and it tastes great (especially with lemon or orange slices in it).

 
 
Here’s the green smoothie I made every a.m.:
(serves 1 +)
 
Tons of GREENS (kale, spinach or whatever you have) – more cilantro or parsley
1.5 cups of water (or almond milk kefir or coconut water kefir) – natural probiotic
2  bananas (less if you want)
1/4 cup hemp seeds
1 tsp. Spirulina
2 TB. chia seeds
NuNaturals Stevia to taste
Blend and enjoy!
 
I had some days where I felt sluggish and slow – it was a way my body was telling me to slow down, rest and let the healing occur.  This is part of the detox – cleansing the candida out of the system.  Don’t push yourself on these days.  Listen to your own intuition and not your ego. 
 
Once I felt comfortable that the candida was back in its box, I slowly started incorporating some quinoa into my diet and saw I how I felt/reacted.  I did the same for sweeter fruits (mangoes, pineapple, persimmons, etc.) in my green smoothies – as long as I didn’t get any symptoms or reactions, I continued with them.  Always listen to your own intuition and body response. 
 
 I know this is a lot of information, but once you get it down, it’s very do-able.  It’s only temporary and will spark you to get a bit more creative in your life.   Some of you will probably lose some weight during this candida cleanse.
 
I look back on it and say “Thank You” to my candida overgrowth and healing protocol journey. It taught me so much about myself, my lifestyle patterns and habits (that needed tweaking and changing), stronger connection with my body – deeper intuition and so much more.  So, embark on this cleanse with a positive attitude of “What can I learn about myself and draw from on a deeper level?” 
 
 What it boils down to:   having a balanced lifestyle is your best defense against a Candida overgrowth.  Take care of your body and it will take care of you. 
 
Don’t hesitate to connect with me if you have any other questions that I might be able to address for you. 
 

For more healthy living and organic gardening tips, quick recipes, what I’m eating and inspirational quotes, LOVE me on Facebook and Subscribe to my YouTube Channel. Lots of fun stuff!

May the GREENS be with You! and Be Inspired!
Kibby

Vegan Gluten-Free Pumpkin Gingerbread Scones

Vegan Gluten-Free Pumpkin Gingerbread Scones

Pumpkin Gingerbread Scones

 photo pumpkinscones3_zpse645604b.jpgI love FALL and I LOVE pumpkin!  I recently bought a huge 16 pound pumpkin, roasted it in the oven and have been making delicious goodies from it.  One of my favorite baked goods from my “SAD baking days” were SCONES.  I made all kinds of variations – chocolate chip, ginger, cranberry/orange, lemon/blueberry and the list goes on.  Traditionally made with LOTS of cold butter, heavy cream, gluten flour and processed sugar.  Once I changed my dietary lifestyle 4 years ago to a healthy, plant-based one, Scones and baked goodies went OUT THE WINDOW. 

I am SO GRATEFUL that I had the background of making such wonderful baked goods because I got the hands-on, practical experience in the kitchen.  NOW, I am able to utilize all that knowledge and expertise and focus that energy into making GLUTEN-FREE goodies that blow my socks off.    It’s trial, error and some real winners!  We got a WINNER here, my dears!  

Being that the ingredients are healthy, gluten-free and vegan – this scone recipe doesn’t make me bloat like a balloon from the gluten and get mucousy from the dairy.   Just delightful, flaky and satisfying.    As I am writing this, different variations are coming to mind and I see the recipe in my minds-eye – I better write these down so that I can try out and share with you.   I’m thinking Apple/Goji scones and Coconut cream scones!  What do you think?  Want me to play around in the kitchen and create them for you.  OK, you twisted my arm.  :)

Adapted from recipe here.

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Vegan Gluten-free Pumpkin Gingerbread Scones
Yields 12
A delicious and nutritious gluten-free, vegan scone utilizing fresh pumpkin and healthy oils. Serve toasted with ghee, coconut oil, homemade nut or seed butters.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 1/2 cups sorghum flour (Bob's Red Mill)
  2. 1 cup buckwheat flour or Oat flour (Bob's Red Mill) or make your own with raw buckwheat groats OR gluten-free oats (just grind in blender or food processor till smooth - that's what I did)
  3. 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  4. 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  5. 2 tsp. aluminum-free baking powder
  6. 1 tsp. ginger powder
  7. 1 tsp. cinnamon
  8. 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
  9. 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice/mixed spice
  10. 1/4 tsp. pink himalayan salt
  11. 1/8 tsp. vanilla powder OR 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  12. 2 cups pureed pumpkin - fresh or canned
  13. 1/2 cup coconut oil, solid
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350F/180C.
  2. Mix together all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Cut the solid coconut oil into small chunks using a spoon and sporadically drop into the dry ingredients. Once mixed, you'll want a few slightly larger coconut oil lumps.
  4. Add the pumpkin puree and stir together until the batter is sticky - half way through, I used my hands to mix and knead the batter - it worked MUCH BETTER.
  5. On a piece of parchment paper, Flatten the batter into a large round circle - about 1.5 or 2 inches thick - then cut into 12 pizza slice shapes. Carefully transfer the slices onto a parchment lined cooking sheet.
  6. Bake in oven for 20 - 25 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes. I find that the flavors meld and POP after cooling a bit once out of oven. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Kibby's Blended Life http://kibbysblendedlife.com/

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Pair with my raw cacao hemp seed nutella and be prepared to be wooed.  :)

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Served with raw cacao hemp seed nutella. Oh yeah!

 Want to see more gluten-free scone recipes?  I am also thinking about trying some lower sugar variations – utilizing stevia.

Enjoy these little beauties and let me know if you have any questions. 

For more healthy living and organic gardening tips, quick recipes, what I’m eating and inspirational quotes, LOVE me on Facebook and Subscribe to my YouTube Channel. Lots of fun stuff!

May the GREENS be with You! and Be Inspired!
Kibby

Raw Cacao Hemp seed Nutella

Raw Cacao Hemp seed Nutella

Raw Cacao Hemp seed Nutella

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I know the original Nutella recipe is made with hazelnuts, but I wanted to make a nut-free and sugar-free version.  Don’t hate me, but I created this hemp seed Nutella variation several months ago.  Slow on getting it to you. Sorry!  Better late than never, right!

This chocolate hemp seed butter is MAGICAL!  You’re thinking – Really!?  Yes, REALLY!!  Eat it straight out of the jar or spread it on ANYTHING and melt (you and the food in your mouth).    I’ve used it on Pumpkin Gingerbread Scones (don’t worry – recipe coming tomorrow!), gluten-free pancakes, muffins, stirred into a.m. oatmeal, and it makes a quick chocolate hemp seed milk (1 heaping TB. of hemp seed butter to 1 cup of water – BLEND!  Enjoy!) just to name a few.  Have fun using it on whatever you can find.  It’s also nice spread on your SWEETIES face, arm, neck, etc.   ;)  Like I said, magical!

Hemp seeds are a nutritional powerhouse!  I use them daily in my diet and I purchase in bulk – 5 pounds at a time.  I use Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts/Seed (great quality and reasonable price).

Hemp seeds are a gift of nature. They are the most nutritious seed in the world. Hemp Seeds are a complete protein. They have the most concentrated balance of proteins, essential fats, vitamins and enzymes combined with a relative absence of sugar, starches and saturated fats. 

  • Excellent source of essential fatty acids including Omega 3, 6 and GLA in the perfect balance.
  • More digestible protein than meat, whole eggs, cheese, human milk, cows milk or any other high protein food
  • Rich in Vitamin E
  • Increases energy levels & metabolic rate
  • Lowers blood LDL cholesterol levels
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Improves cardiovascular circulation & function
  • Improves organ function
  • Improves immunity levels
  • Reduces symptoms of PMS & menstrual cramps
  • Reduces inflammation and the symptoms of arthritis
  • Improves recovery of muscles after exercise
  • Reduces & treats dry skin and hair conditions
  • Reduction of many degenerative diseases through preventative measures
  • Can be eaten by those unable to tolerate nuts, gluten, lactose or sugar; there are no known allergies to hemp foods.

Combined with raw cacao powder, quick & easy almond milk, NuNaturals stevia (sugar-free) and a few other ingredients – you’ve got an amazing healthy treat at your disposal.

Let’s get started!! 

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Raw Cacao Hemp Seed Nutella
Yields 1
A delicious and healthy nut-free, sugar-free variation of the famous Nutella spread. Tastes BETTER than the original and not loaded with sugar.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 cups Hemp Seeds (Manitoba Harvest)
  2. 3 TB. raw Cacao Powder (Navitas Naturals)
  3. 1 TB. melted coconut oil (Nutiva)
  4. 1/2 cup homemade almond milk - more if needed for a thinner consistency - your call.
  5. 15 drops NuNaturals liquid stevia (sugar-free) or 1 to 2 TB. maple syrup/raw honey/coconut sugar - to your personal sweetness level
  6. 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  7. pinch of pink himalayan salt (my bottle has some pepper flakes mixed in) - nice touch!
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor (I used my mini processor) or high speed blender. Blend till smooth and creamy. You may have to stop a few times and scrape down sides.
  2. Adjust sweetness.
  3. Will keep in a glass jar in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks - believe me, it won't last that long! :)
Kibby's Blended Life http://kibbysblendedlife.com/

 

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Tomorrow, the vegan, gluten-free Pumpkin Gingerbread Scones are coming your way!  OOOOH – these are such an exciting and glorious creation. 

For more healthy living and organic gardening tips, quick recipes, what I’m eating and inspirational quotes, LOVE me on Facebook and Subscribe to my YouTube Channel. Lots of fun stuff!

May the GREENS be with You! and Be Inspired!
Kibby

RAW Healthy Chocolate Fudge Cookies – Weekend Treats!

RAW Healthy Chocolate Fudge Cookies – Weekend Treats!

RAW Healthy Chocolate Fudge Cookies

 
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I wasn’t planning on doing a post today, but I made these raw chocolate fudge cookies last night and knew I had to share with you TODAY.   They took just minutes to make and a few more to form (and pop a few into my mouth).  They taste amazing AND are healthy to boot = my kind of treat!

Several of the main ingredients have a grand nutritional profile and of course, I have to share that information with you – it’s what I like to do.  So, if you want to skip this part, go make the cookies and then come back and read this portion so that you know how healthy these little cookies are – go for it.  That’s probably what I would do.  :)

Raw Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are naturally rich in protein, zinc, essential fatty acids, magnesium, iron, and fiber. To boot they contain most of the B vitamins, along with C, D, E, and K! Pumpkin seeds are rich in the amino acids alanin, glycine and glutamic acid. The way to get the most out of pumpkin seeds is to eat them raw and organic.

  • Native American were among the first to notice the health benefits of pumpkin seeds. They referred to them as cucurbita and used them to treat kidney problems and to eliminate parasites from the intestines.
  • The high zinc level in pumpkin seeds is good for the prostate. The high zinc level is also good for the bones and protecting against osteoporosis.
  • The essential fatty acids in pumpkin seeds can kill parasites and provide many other benefits. Parasites and worms are paralyzed with pumpkin seeds.
  • The high protein load can provide an excellent source of protein for vegans and vegetarians.
  • The fiber content helps the digestive system
  • Pumpkin seeds contain L-tryptophan, which helps keep depression at bay.
  • Pumpkin seeds can help lower LDL “bad” cholesterol. The seeds have phytosterols, a compound that not only helps lower cholesterol but helps protect against certain cancers.
  • Pumpkin seeds help with urinary health.

Source:  Healthy Oil Planet.com

Prunes

Prunes — or dried plums — are considered one of the healthiest foods.  Why? 

  • Antioxidant superfood naturally rich in hydroxycinnamic acids and anthocyanins, both of which appear to be highly effective at scavenging free radicals with strong antioxidant properties.
  • Time-honored constipation remedy packed with fiber and the natural laxative sorbitol. Sorbitol is a mild colonic stimulant that helps reduce the transit time of stool and consequently the risk of constipation, colorectal cancer and hemorrhoids.
  • Protection against osteoporosis and osteopenia.  The high concentration of the trace element boron is postulated to play a role in prevention of osteoporosis and osteopenia – A single serving of prunes (100 grams) fulfills the daily requirement for boron. Also the potassium found in prunes may help support bone health.
  • Glycemic Index (GI) Rating: Although rich in simple sugars, prunes do not cause a rapid rise in blood sugar levels, possibly because of their high fiber, fructose, and sorbitol content.  Therefore, prunes have a low GI rating of 29.

Source: Heal With Food.org

I reduced the sugar content in original recipe by replacing with NuNaturals Liquid Stevia.  Recipe inspired HERE.  See PRODUCTS page for ingredient resources.

Raw Healthy Chocolate Fudge Cookies
Yields 15
A deliciously dense, moist and chewy raw chocolate cookie full of fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup of Organic Prunes (moist)
  2. 1/2 cup Navitas Naturals raw Cacao powder
  3. 2 TB. Extra virgin Coconut oil
  4. 1 cup Raw Pumpkin seeds (grind in a Food processor into a flour)
  5. 10 - 12 drops NuNaturals liquid stevia
  6. 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  7. Large pinch of Pink Himalayan salt
Instructions
  1. Grind the Raw Pumpkin seeds into a fine flour in a food processor.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients into the FP- with dry ingredients FIRST and then layer the moist prunes on top - and process until you have a sticky dough consistency.
  3. Roll small balls of the dough between your hands, flatten them into patties.
  4. Eat them as they are at room temperature or place cookies in the fridge to eat them cold.
Adapted from The Raw Guru
Adapted from The Raw Guru
Kibby's Blended Life http://kibbysblendedlife.com/

 

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Enjoy these little raw chocolate cookies in moderation – remember those prunes!  :)

Have a lovely weekend!  I will be spending mine in Asheville, NC with some friends (Rachel and Shira).

For more healthy living and organic gardening tips, quick recipes, what I’m eating and inspirational quotes, LOVE me on Facebook and Subscribe to my YouTube Channel. Lots of fun stuff!

May the GREENS be with You! and Be Inspired!
Kibby

Thoughtful Thursday

Thoughtful Thursday

via Catalyzing Change on FB

♥ Are You Frightened of Change? –  I can SO RELATE to this!  Thanks, Katie Manning, for sharing this part of you. You are not alone.  Embrace change – it is a beautiful thing in one’s life – whether we know it now or later. 

♥ The Experts Weigh In: Hittin’ the Road Yogi-Style! -  Great article by FERN LANGHAM with wonderful tips and insight on how to travel AYURVEDA style.  My kind of girl!  

♥ Top 30 Plants to Detox Your Home. – Detoxing the body is just part of the equation.  Detoxing the home and environment is very important too.  Plants are a great way to accomplish this.  I love having planting in each room of my house.  They make me smile and clean the air for me.  Learn which plants are best to suit your needs.  OH! and they like to be talked to. I talk lovingly to my plants when watering them and they seem to thrive.  I do the same for my outside plants and garden plants.

♥ This Week in Astrology – 1st – 7th July 2013 – MORE Fantastic insight from Leah Whitehorse!

♥ July Forecast 2013 - The themes for July 2013 are EXPANSION, DISCIPLINE, and MAGIC.

♥ The Pros & Cons Of 3 Popular Fad Diets with Dr Hyman – Interesting article!  I agree that it is BEST to choose QUALITY at all times.

Alice in Wonderland’s Teatray via FB

♥ How to Relieve Menopause Symptoms and Get Your Life Back – Great article and information from Kimberly Snyder.

♥ Ask the Chef: Cooling Smoothies- Great advice and input from one of my favorite superfood chefs, Julie Morris and from my favorite superfood company, Navitas Naturals.  I LOVE smoothies and drink them everyday with some sort of superfood in it!

♥ Why Intuition Sux….. But is BRILLIANT! - GREAT video – you must watch!  Hayley Carr is so spunky and fun.  She has a wonderful challenge for you and has some great points in tapping into your own personal intuition.

♥ Imperfection Is Lovable: Let Yourself Be – OH!  How I can relate to this one.  I think many of us can. 

♥ Get Smart and Lose Weight with this Saturated Fat –  One of my FAVORITE oils to use in every way – food, body and more.  Check it out!

via Truebook.org Facebook

 

  For more healthy living and organic gardening tips, quick recipes, what I’m eating and inspirational quotes, LOVE me on Facebook and Subscribe to my YouTube Channel. Lots of fun stuff!

May the GREENS be with You! and Be Inspired!
Kibby

Thoughtful Thursday

Thoughtful Thursday

via Rawforbeauty.com

♥How I Freed Myself Spiritually With 3 Life Changes –  Wonderful insight and food for thought!

♥ How to Make the Big Things Happen Quickly, and with a Little More Ease –  I know we all want to do great things – so come watch Hayley Carr and learn more from this empowering, sassy, fun woman.  Check out her TV show also.  GREAT stuff!  

♥ This Week in Astrology – 10th – 16th June 2013 - More great insight from Leah Whitehorse.  It may seem rocky for awhile but We have the power WITHIN ourselves to calm the storm and find peace.  It ALWAYS starts within us.

♥ How to Feed your Dog or Cat Coconut Oil –  Coconut oil is great for our furry friends.  Find out how to start them off right.

via Rawforbeauty.com

♥ The Sweet Superfood Green Machine Smoothie – Navitas Naturals did a GREAT interview with my friend, Tess Masters AKA The Blender Girl from Healthy Blender Recipes on their June Newsletter.  I like her term “bio-individuality” for that is how I live my life and cater to my own personal diet.   She shares an amazing green smoothie that I highly recommend you try.  Navitas Naturals has a great list of information and recipes on this newsletter.  I LOVE and use their products everyday in some form in my diet.  Go to my PRODUCTS page to see which ones I use daily. 

♥ 10 Cancer-Fighting Juice & Smoothie Recipes –  Looking for some new juice and smoothie recipes?  Come check out this article for some simple, healthy ones.  Enjoy!

♥ Is Sunscreen Really That Bad For You? –  Great post from Kris Carr on the healthy and balanced approach to sunscreen and getting your Vitamin D on.

♥ 10 Things I Wish Every American Knew About Health – AMEN!  Beautifully written and well said.  I agree wholeheartedly. 

via Rawforbeauty.com

 
For more healthy living and organic gardening tips, quick recipes, what I’m eating and inspirational quotes, LOVE me on Facebook and Subscribe to my YouTube Channel. Lots of fun stuff!

May the GREENS be with You! and Be Inspired!
Kibby

 

My Raw Chocolate Superfood Protein Bars – NOW AVAILABLE TO YOU!

My Raw Chocolate Superfood Protein Bars – NOW AVAILABLE TO YOU!

Raw Chocolate Superfood Protein Bars

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 I have been making these Amazing, Great-Tasting, Nutrient-Dense Protein Bars for years for myself and my family. I am now happy to announce that I am making them available to YOU!

Each bar is hand-made with quality, organic and natural ingredients and superfoods.  Only the BEST for my family and YOU!

What makes these bars so nutritious is that the ingredients are raw foods, so they retain their vitamins and minerals, unlike many cooked and processed foods. And because they are blended they are easy to digest. The balance of proteins, carbohydrates and fats in these bars makes them perfect after a workout, as a quick snack, a meal replacement, while hiking or playing hard, for days out with your kids, or for a natural energy boost. 

They are a Super-premium “Meal in a Bar“.

* Raw *

* Gluten-Free *

* Dairy Free *

* Soy Free *

 * Hand-Made With Love for Extraordinary Health *

* Made Fresh to Order *

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For these bars, I use Organic Superfoods for Nutrient Density and Energy along with tonic Herbs for Adaptability & Muscle Repair. 

INGREDIENTS:

Dates, Almonds*, coconut flakes*, Walnuts, Raw Cacao Powder*, Dandy Blend™, Sunwarrior™Blend Protein Powder*, lime juice*, coconut oil*, Maca powder*, cinnamon and sea salt. (* denotes ORGANIC).

Each bar is approximately 2.8 oz and 2″ X 3″ X 5/8″ in size. Because they are handmade, some variation in size and weight can occur.

Dates have a natural balance of many minerals such as calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, copper, iron, selenium and potassium. They are high in fiber and a great source of energy.   Dates are rich in Polyphenols, a plant antioxidant that has a high capacity for reducing oxidative stress.

Almonds are a unique package of nutrients – a great source of highly absorbable protein (6 grams per ounce) along with dietary fiber, phosphorus, calcium, potassium, magnesium, manganese, copper, zinc, iron and vitamin E.

Coconut Flakes are rich in lauric acid, which is known for being antiviral, antibacterial and anti-fungal, as well as boosting the immune system.   It’s also a great source of healthy fats.

Walnuts pack a significant amount of omega-3 fatty acids! They are rich in fiber, B vitamins, magnesium, and antioxidants such as Vitamin E.  Walnuts are one of the best plant sources of protein!

Raw Cacao powder (Navitas Naturals) is one of the richest sources of immune-boosting antioxidants found in nature. It provides important minerals including magnesium and iron. Raw Cacao is also a concentrated form of healthy dietary fiber. All raw cacao products contain the unique alkaloid chemicals theobromine, phenylethylamine and anandamine that help you feel happy.  Raw cacao is energizing, adaptogenic, mood enhancing and simply great tasting.

Dandy Blend™  is a delicious herbal beverage with the taste, body, and texture of coffee. Dandelion root is what makes Dandy Blend unique as it contains over 50 trace minerals. Certified gluten-free due to a special extraction process.

Sunwarrior™ Blend Protein Powder is a unique, raw, plant-based protein with a complete amino acid profile exceptionally high in Arginine, Lysine, Leucine, and branched chain amino acids.  Warrior Blend is an easily digestible, nutrient filled superfood perfect for anyone who wants to amplify their health and fitness levels. Best of all, it tastes phenomenal.  

Lime Juice is valued for culinary purposes as a preservative and flavoring, as well as for its nutritional value.  A good source of vitamin C and Dietary fiber, it helps facilitate digestion and may prevent constipation.

Coconut oil is about 50 percent lauric acid, a rare medium-chain fatty acid that supports healthy metabolism and is now being studied for its anti-fungal, anti-viral, and anti-bacterial health-protecting properties.

Maca (Navitas Naturals) Due to its extremely rich nutritional value, this root not only aids recovery but also promotes rapid healing and eliminates different kinds of stress related problems.  Peruvians believe that even a small amount of maca can sustain performance and energy for hours.

Cinnamon contains cinnamaldehyde, a potent anti-inflammatory phytonutrient. Plus, it’s anti-microbial, a great source of chromium which helps control blood sugar and boosts brain function. It also contains manganese, calcium, iron and fiber.

Sea salt contains trace elements and minerals.

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My Raw Chocolate Superfood Protein Bars are handmade fresh to order by me in small, individual batches with love and positive energy. Each order will take several days to handcraft, wrap, and travel to you. Please place your orders with this in mind.

**  Please store the bars in the refrigerator upon arrival for they are perishable and this ensures a longer shelf life. They will last several weeks sealed in the fridge.  Bars can be frozen for longer life – thaw before eating. **

Indulge your friends, family, and colleagues with my Raw Chocolate Superfood Protein Bars for
activities, parties, meetings, workouts, snacks and just all round “good sharing”!

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Check out testimonials about the bars already!

“The superfood protein bars are incredible….better than anything you can buy in the store and so much healthier. My husband has eaten 2 today so far and I am trying to use control and not keep up with his count. I will definitely be reordering the protein bars.”   ~Serena A., Kansas, USA

“I love the bars! In fact my daughter whom can be picky about flavor and texture loves them. I am impressed with the quality of the ingredients they are superior bars to anything you can buy at your local health food store.”  ~Christine O., GA, USA

“Hi. Just wanted to drop you a quick note… I LOVED those chocolate protein bars. They kept me energized throughout my weekend workshop.”  ~Ilke, GA, USA

“These bars are unlike any bars I have ever had, and I have had a lot of bars!  I am very active and am on my feet all day.  They give me the energy I need to get me to dinner or to endure a tough workout.  The ingredients meld together so nicely.  They are not too sweet but sweet enough to satisfy my sweet tooth.  I will definitely buy more!”  ~ Stephanie W., GA, USA

  “Just a quick note to let you know the protein bars arrived yesterday and they are FANTASTIC! Thank you so very much. I love them.  I tell you they are better than any protein bar I have ever had and better than any brownie as well.  They are fresh, moist, delicious, chocolatey goodness and everyone deserves to try these.  They are the BEST!”   ~ Victoria, TN, USA

 
I was hesitant to spend the money not knowing how they would taste.  I love Larabars and I was very excited to bite into your bars and feel like I was eating a Larabar, except with a fresher and even better taste.  Absolutely love your bars!!!  They are the perfect size and half of one is good enough to satisfy my craving of chocolate for the day and it feels good to be eating something healthy.  Thanks!”  ~ Vernice, TN, USA

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

HOW TO ORDER YOURS NOW!

* To Place An Order:  Email me @ kibbymiller@tds.net with your name, shipping address and the quantity you wish to purchase.  The bars are $5.00 each.

* Payment:   I accept PayPal.  Upon receiving your email with order details, I will send you a Paypal invoice.  Once payment is received, I will prepare your order from scratch and notify you when package is shipped.

* Shipping:  All items are handmade in very small batches by me. ** Please allow up to 1 week from purchase date for me to have them ready for shipment .** Thank you for your patience as I lovingly hand-make your bars.   I ship using USPS Priority Mail.  I can ship up to 12 bars for $6.50.  Over that amount, email me for a shipping price quote.

MY SHIPPING COST ALSO INCLUDES HANDLING:
This includes boxes, packing materials, trips to post office, printer ink, and the time to lovingly pack and label each order.

 *** I have no control over your package once it is in the hands of USPS so we can not issue refunds for undelivered or lost packages. You will need to contact USPS if they make a mistake with your delivery. If you are concerned about this please request that I add shipping insurance to your order. ***

INTERNATIONAL ORDERS
Customers are responsible for any local fees, duties, taxes or brokerage charges that may be incurred on your package upon its arrival in your country. Please inquire with your local post office to find out the fees associated with your order prior to purchasing from me. If for any reason you do not claim or are unable to claim your package from Customs, I will not issue a refund. I ship Priority Mail International, and send tracking information with delivery notification. I can email proof of mailing to international customers and I am not able to offer refunds to international customers for undelivered packages.

RETURNS

I want you to be very happy with your purchase. However, due to the nature of the product, I am not able to accept returns.

I look forward to hearing from you and to be able to provide these AMAZING, nutritious, superfood protein bars to you, your family and friends.

Contact me @ kibbymiller@tds.net to place your order NOW!

 

May the GREENS be with You! and Be Inspired!
Kibby

HEALTHY Gluten-free Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate “Buttercream” Icing

HEALTHY Gluten-free Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate “Buttercream” Icing

AMAZING Chocolate Cupcakes with “Buttercream” Icing – Gluten-free and DELICIOUS!

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Oh, do I have a TREAT for you all today!  Upon putting a picture of these decadent beauties up on Facebook Thursday – I  have never had such response and comments before.  You girls (and guys) love your chocolate!!  Don’t worry – I am SO THERE with you.   I choose to incorporate healthy ingredients into my recipes and especially if they are gluten-free, sugar free and FANTASTIC tasting. 

This recipe has you covered on all bases.  I came across the recipe for the cupcake from Maggie Savage at She Let Them Eat Cake here and the recipe for the icing compliments of Ricki Heller from her site here.  I changed only a few ingredients.  Thanks to Maggie and Ricki for their stellar creations and here is a cupcake that is safe to eat (moderation of course) that is loaded with healthy oils, alternative sugars (that are healthy) and some hidden healthy foods that you would never have thought to put into a recipe like this.  I LOVE these kind of recipes!  I think it is so cool to make something like this and share out with people and convert them to new ways of thinking, baking and incorporating health into their lifestyle. 

I guarantee you these won’t last long.  I took some to share with several people throughout the week and Scott and I got to have maybe 3 each.  That’s OK.  I love sharing goodies.  It makes me smile to see people smile back with appreciation and be inspired to make these healthy beauties for their family and loved ones.  Transforming one family at a time with healthy food choices is my mission.  This one is a WINNER!

Chocolate Cupcakes:

(per Maggie Savage’s recipe/website):

Yields 12 cupcakes (in a muffin pan)

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup homemade almond milk (you can also use full fat coconut milk)
  • ¼ cup tapioca flour or arrowroot flour
  • 1 cup gluten free flour (I used sorghum flour – you could use teff or any other gluten-free flour)
  • ½ tsp. baking powder (non-aluminum)
  • ¾ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 TB. psyllium seed husks or flax seed meal (ground flax seeds)
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • 1/3 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1 TB. vanilla extract or vanilla bean powder (that’s what I used)
  • ¾ cup coconut sugar
  • ½ cup extra virgin organic coconut oil, liquefied

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Lightly oil (I used coconut oil) a 12 cup muffin pan.
2. Combine the apple cider vinegar with the almond milk (or coconut milk) in a large bowl. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes to create a “buttermilk”.
3. In a medium sized bowl, sift together the starch (tapioca or arrowroot flour), sorghum flour, baking powder, baking soda, psyllium seed husks or flax seed meal, sea salt, and cacao powder.
4. Add vanilla, coconut sugar and coconut oil to your “buttermilk” mixture and stir until well combined. Stir in dry ingredients and mix well.
5. Spoon batter into prepared muffin pan and bake for 20-22 minutes, or until tops bounce back.
6. Remove cupcakes from oven and let cool for fifteen minutes in pan.  Remove from pan after that time and transfer to a wire cooling rack and let cool completely.
7. Frost with Chocolate “Butterceam”  Frosting (recipe below)

Chocolate “Buttercream” Frosting:

(from  Ricki Heller’s recipe/website):

Makes 1 cup – plenty for 12 cupcakes and tasting! ;)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 TB. sweet potato purée – I used half a baked sweet potato (I always use homemade for this, so can’t vouch for the canned variety.  I bake my potatoes to bring out the natural sweetness as much as possible, then cool, peel and mash). 
  • 3 TB  coconut sugar
  • 15-25 drops plain or vanilla stevia liquid, to your taste (I use NuNaturals)
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • pinch fine sea salt
  • 1/4 cup raw cacao or carob powder
  • 2.5 ounces GOOD quality dark unsweetened chocolate – I used most of a Green & Black Organic chocolate bar)
  • 1/4 cup  smooth organic sesame tahini (for nut-free)
  • 2 TB.  organic extra virgin coconut oil, melted

Directions:

  1. After you have cooked your sweet potato and let it cool down, scoop out the required measurements above of the lovely flesh along with the coconut sugar, stevia, vanilla and salt in food processor and pulse till incorporated well.   Next, add the raw cacao powder or carob powder and process until combined.  Stop and scrap sides to make sure it all gets mixed.   This only takes about a minute.   Set aside.
  2.  Combine the chocolate, tahini and coconut oil in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan over low heat.  Keep an eye on it.  Don’t step away for a minute thinking it will take awhile.  It might burn.  You don’t want that.  Stir constantly until chocolate melts and this combination becomes silky smooth; remove from heat. Transfer this chocolate mixture into the food processor (which still has your sweet potato, sugar, vanilla blend) and blend everything until smooth and creamy, scraping down sides as needed and sample tasting, of course. 

This frosting can be used as soon as it’s mixed at room temperature as a dark, fudgey chocolate frosting that can be piped and will hold its shape.  Per Ricki Heller, For a lighter frosting, refrigerate until firm and then whip into a “buttercream”.  Either way, no one will believe what is–and isn’t–in this!  HeeHee!  I love it!

 

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Sift all dry cupcake ingredients into a large bowl.

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Whip up the creamy chocolate “buttercream” icing! This is so reminiscent of icing I made back in my “unhealthy” baking days. This is superior in comparison.

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Cooling on the rack!

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Freshly topped with icing! OOOHH! The smell of these babies is enticing and I was salivating taking pictures.

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Sorry about the lighting here.

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A girls got to taste her wares – Right! Believe me! AMAZING!

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Better lighting! Yay! Gorgeous little guys!

These healthy cupcakes won’t last long, but they will keep up to three days (covered) in the refrigerator.  But why would you want them to.  :)   Bring to room temperature before eating – the coconut oil in the cupcakes will firm up hard when cold, but soften at room temperature – making for a perfect crumbly chocolate delight in your mouth.     Go make these for a birthday party, anniversary party, special occasion or my favorite occasion – “Because I’m WORTH it!”  and SO ARE YOU


Thanks again to Maggie and Ricki for a healthy, delicious creation of chocolate goodness!

For more healthy living and organic gardening tips, quick recipes, what I’m eating and inspirational quotes, LOVE me on Facebook and Subscribe to my YouTube Channel. Lots of fun stuff!

May the GREENS be with You! and Be Inspired!
Kibby

Gluten-free Italian Foccacia Flax Bread

Gluten-free Italian Foccacia Flax Bread

 

Italian Foccacia Flax Bread

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Ever since I found out I was gluten intolerant, I have had to take most breads out of my diet.  And that SUCKS because I LOVE a good bread.  For many years, I was a baking queen.  From simple breads to complicated, braided, twisted delights and learned a lot on techniques and tricks.  Now, I love a simple, easy, practical bread that doesn’t put me in digestive disarray.  The one bread that I do miss most is a foccacia bread.  Ooooh!  How I would swoon and become weak at the knees with a tasty homemade version.  Yet with all the flour, butter, yeast, sugar and more that goes into making one, the ingredients just don’t agree with my body and wreak havoc on it.  So, for many years, I have just accepted the fact that foccacia bread is not to be a part of my dietary relationship.

However, the other day, upon seeing a recipe for a foccacia flax bread – original recipe here, I felt a flutter in my heart and spark of hope that this might be a new found friendship.  I had all the ingredients and off to the kitchen I went all excited and in anticipation.  I made the original recipe and found it to be great.  Yay!  I was doing a “happy foodie dance” after sampling.  It is denser than other foccacia breads but still has the soft, pillowy center.  I ate a slice by itself and swooned.  I then added some spicy, homemade guacamole and danced again.  :)  Scott walked through the kitchen and said, “My, oh my, what has gotten you so excited, let me try!”  I handed him a slice of guacamole slathered bread and YES!  He was impressed too! 

The very next day, while driving home from town, I started to envision ways to make it more to my liking and variations.  So, I came up with an Italian version which I proceeded to make as soon as I got home, which is enclosed here in this post.  You could also use the original recipe (base) and go for a mexican flare – cumin, paprika, cayenne or hot peppers.  OR go for a Indian curry flare.  OR go for a sweeter flare by adding cinnamon or cacao.  See!  The possibilities are wonderful!   The next day I added some onion slices to the recipe (Yes, I had to make another batch because the first one didn’t last long ;)), baked and now I have an onion foccacia bread affair going on.  Delicious!  This bread recipe is simple, healthy, full of fiber and helps you poop.  :)  Most regular bread constipates and causes “glueyness” (my new word) through out the body and especially the colon due to the gluten.  This bread frees you up and keeps you regular.  My kind of bread! 

The health benefits of consuming this bread are amazing.  Let’s look at the star player.

Flax Seeds

  • Flax is high in both soluble and insoluble fiber. One ounce of flax provides 32% of the USDA’s reference daily intake of fiber. Flax promotes regular bowel movements because it is high in insoluble fiber. Flaxseed’s all natural fiber helps to absorb water, thereby softening the stool and allowing it to pass through the colon quickly. When adding fiber to your diet, it is important to make sure that you are drinking at least eight glasses of water daily. Without enough liquids, fiber can actually cause constipation! In the fight against constipation exercise, eat fruits and vegetables, drink eight glasses of water daily and add two to four tablespoons of flax to your daily regime!
  • Lignans—flax contains high levels of lignans, which are natural compounds that help prevent many types of cancer, such as breast, colon and prostate cancer.
  • Omega 3’s—flax is recognized as the richest source of essential fatty acids (EFAs) such as alphalinolenic acid (ALA and Omega-3 fatty acids).
  • Research has found that eating flax daily favorably affects immunity, the body’s ability to defend itself successfully against bacteria and viruses. Two components of flax, lignans and ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), have been found to affect immune cells and compounds that control immune reaction.
  • Flax is the richest known plant source of phytoestrogens.  Phytoestrogens act as a natural hormone therapy and help to stabilize hormonal levels. This stabilization of hormonal levels helps to lesson the symptoms of menopause.
  • It has been discovered that the omega-3 fat and high fiber in flax may play a role in the fight against diabetes. In a study conducted by the University of Toronto, participants who ate flaxseed bread had blood sugar levels 28% lower an hour after eating than their counterparts who ate bread made with wheat flour!  (source)

It also comes in golden or brown varieties but there’s no nutritional difference between the two.  Whole flaxseed has a tough exterior, which makes it difficult to digest, so it tends to pass through the body without giving you much of its nutritional benefits.  The ground form is absorbed better by the body and provides much more health benefits.  Pre-ground flaxseed however, has a short shelf life, so the best idea is to buy it whole and grind it up in a coffee or spice grinder as you need it.  You can store unused flaxseed in a cool, dry place or in the refrigerator in a glass mason jar and add to smoothies, to thicken soups and oatmeal, or use as an egg substitute, etc.

I took it a step further and added some ground chia seeds for more health benefits, Nutritional yeast (which is my favorite way to make a recipe “cheesy” without dairy), and used local, organic, farm-raised eggs (Thanks, Heather! ♥)

Italian Foccacia Flax Bread

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flax seed meal (seeds ground first then measured into 2 cups)
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup (or more to taste) Nutritional yeast
  • 1 heaping TB. Italian seasoning
  • 1 TB.  Healthy sweetener of choice:  Sucanat or coconut sugar.  I used NuNaturals liquid stevia extract equivalent –  1/32 tsp=1 T (1 dropper full) for a candida-friendly option.
  •  3 beaten organic eggs
  • 2 TB. chia seed meal ( seeds ground first then measured)
  • 1/3  cup organic coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup fresh water

Directions:

  •  Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a  9.5 X 13.5 dish and line with parchment paper – IMPORTANT! (coconut oil works great!).
  •  Combine in a large bowl and mix dry ingredients — a whisk works well.
  •  Add wet  ingredients to a bowl or Vitamix and whisk WELL.  Combine the wet and dry ingredients and stir well till fully combined.
  •  Let batter set for 2 to 3 minutes to thicken up some (leave it too long and it gets past the point where it’s easy to spread.)
  • Spoon batter into pan and spread out or use wet fingers and pat out to edges of pan – it doesn’t have to be perfect.
  • Bake for about 25 minutes, until it springs back when you touch the top and/or is visibly browned.
  • Cool and cut into whatever size slices you want.

Fantastic served with homemade guacamole, pesto, hummus, cheese sauce, for an open face sandwich, or serve plain accompanied with a blended soup Have fun creating your own options.  Refrigerates and freezes well (if it lasts that long).

 Tip:  This recipe also equates into a fantastic and healthy dog biscuit. 

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Dry ingredients: flax seed meal, chia seed meal, nutritional yeast, sea salt, baking powder, Italian seasoning.

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My lovely friend, Christine, told me about how she blends her eggs in her Vitamix for a fluffier egg when cooking it. The Vitamix aerates the eggs and makes them creamier and fluffier. Here are the wet ingredients: 3 organic eggs, coconut oil and water. It is quicker and easier to clean up in the Vitamix too. Thanks for the tip, Christine!

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Dry and wet mixture combined to make a lovely dough.

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Dough spread and patted out into an oiled parchment lined (IMPORTANT!) glass pyrex dish – ready to go in oven.


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Try it and let me know what you think and what variations you come up with.  Enjoy!

Have a wonderful weekend!!

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May the GREENS be with You! and Be Inspired!
Kibby