Finding a snack that can satiate your little cravings can feel like a mission. Whether you’re on the hunt for something sweet or need a little mid-day pick-me-upper. This chewy chocolate chip bites are a really great option!
So as far as snacks go, yes, having something that comes right out of nature – a fruit or veggie – will always be THE best option. Simply because we will never be able to beat the nutrition perfection that happens in nature. I also get that sometimes we’re in the mood for something else.
These chewy chocolate chip bites are made with simple ingredients. Mainly dates, carob or cacao powder, and walnuts. As for the cinnamon, coconut oil, and chocolate chips, they are added for a little extra flavor and/or nutrition.
Like always, I encourage you to add, remove, tweak and just play around with the ingredients. If you are a chocolate lover, add more cacao or carob. Want to keep it vegan? Make sure your chocolate chips are vegan. And if you’re gluten-free, well this recipe is already gluten-free.
Add these delicious little bites to your meal prepping so you can have a great snack on-the-go for the week. It will take less than 20 minutes to make and you’ll be giving your body a daily energy (and nutrient) boost. See you in the kitchen!
Chewy Chocolate Chip Bites Recipe
Yields 8-10 bites
1 cup pitted Medjool Dates
1/2 cup walnuts
1 TBSP coconut oil
1/4 cup carob powder or cacao powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Add all ingredients (except the chocolate chips) in a food processor. Pulse until it forms a dough.
Make cookie shapes with your clean hands and top with chocolate chips.
Place “cookies” or bites in a baking tray and bake for about 10 minutes.
Enjoy warm or store in airtight container and keep in fridge for up to a week.
I’ve been in a soup phase lately. Can you tell? When it comes to my wellness routine, I like switching things up to keep things exciting. Recently, I’ve started making soups to enjoy at dinner time. And honestly, this creamy spinach soup is at the top of my list of favorites. Right there with my lentil soup.
Ever since I was a kid, my dinners were smaller and simpler than my lunch. As a kid, I would typically have a simple sandwich and a glass of fresh made juice or milk. After becoming a nutritionist, or what the youngsters call “woke”, I’ve been making tweaks to improve the quality of my dinners.
Some of these tweaks included swapping my juice and milk for water. This is a great way to cut back on the amount of daily sugar. I also started adding veggies to my sandwiches for a nutrient boost. And when my body started reacting to wheat, I changed my bread to gluten-free. But I knew that I could still do better. Especially because gluten-free bread does not equal healthy.
I love soups because they are such a great way to enjoy a nutrient dense and light dish. It’s quite perfect for dinner to be honest. You can go to bed in a satisfied way with little to none risks of experiencing any gut or indigestion issues. So a win-win.
This creamy spinach soup has the added bonus of having tons of spinach. Why is that good for dinner? Well, spinach just so happens to be a great source of magnesium, a mineral that really helps the muscles of the body relax – getting you ready for a perfect night of sleep.
So let’s get ready to do some cooking, shall we? See in the kitchen!
Creamy Spinach Soup Recipe
1/2 bag frozen spinach (about 8 oz).
2 cups broccoli florets
1/2 white onion (sliced)
5-6 baby potatoes (chopped)
1 leek stalk (chopped)
2-3 green onion stalks (chopped)
2 cups water
1 can coconut milk
Spices: smoked paprika, nutmeg, garlic powder.
Salt and black pepper to taste.
In a medium pan over medium-high heat cook onions (with a little olive oil) for about 5 minutes. Add chopped leeks and cook for a couple of extra minutes.
Next, add all the other ingredients except the coconut milk. Allow water to start boiling, lower heat to medium-low heat, cover pan with lid. Allow veggies to cook for about 15 minutes. Make sure that the potatoes are cooked properly.
Remove pan from stove and blend soup using a hand blender.
Lastly, add the coconut milk and take pan back to stove. Mix well until evenly combined and allow soup to boil. Try the soup and adjust seasoning to taste.
Lately, I’ve really been into making soups a part of my weekly meal prep routine. This way I can enjoy a nice cup of nourishing soup for dinner every night. Which is why I’ve been feeling extra adventurous and not only sticking to my lovely lentil soup (here’s my lentil soup recipe in case you want to give a go).
Sweet potatoes and beets might not be the first veggie combination that you would find in a soup. And even I was a bit skeptical when I first tried this one. I’m used to eating stuffed sweet potato and raw/cooked beets with my salads separately. But together in a soup, not so much.
Well, I am here to tell you that this soup couldn’t have come out more perfect! I first came across this combination in a soup recipe by Pick Up Limes and I just happened to have beets and sweet potatoes at home. So why not?
I loved this one not only because of the flavor, but it’s a true nutrition dream when talking about all the amazing nutrients you get. It’s rich in fiber, tons of antioxidants, vitamins & minerals, and healthy fats. I can’t forget to mention the circulation boosting properties coming from the beets.
Did you know that beets are a great source of nitrates? Your body then converts it to nitric oxide which is really great for blood vessel health and circulation.
So now, let’s dive into this deliciousness, shall we? See you in the kitchen!
Sweet Potato and Beet Soup Recipe
2 sweet potatoes (peeled and cubed)
4 small beets (peeled and cubed)
1/2 white onion (sliced)
4 garlic cloves (chopped)
1 can coconut milk
2 cups water
Spices: 1 TBSP of each smoked paprika, chili powder, garlic powder.
Salt and black pepper to taste
In a medium pan using medium-high heat, cook the onions with a little olive oil for about 5 minutes. Add the chopped garlic clove and cook for a couple of minutes extra.
To the same pan, add sweet potatoes, beets, spices, and water. Allow water to boil, turn down stove to medium-low, cover pan, and cook veggies for about 15 minutes or until potatoes and beets are soft.
Once veggies are cooked, remove pan from stove. Using a hand mixer, blend the veggies into a cream.
Add coconut milk to veggie cream. Take pan back to the stove and mix well until coconut milk is well incorporated into soup. This step is also where you can try the soup and see if it’s missing any seasoning. Allow soup to boil and turn off heat.
Adding fruits and veggies into my baked goods is one of my favorite things to do. Yes, it does add fiber and nutrients into your baked goods. But what I love most about it are the flavors. And this carrot cake is no different.
Carrots have a natural sweetness to them that makes it ideal for baking. Its beautiful orange color comes with amazing antioxidant benefits and carrots are a wonderful source of vitamin A and fiber. And believe me when I say that having a rich fiber source in your baked goods is a MUST for a few reasons.
For starters, fiber helps you feel full quicker. So it’s ideal that when you do have treats, they come with a generous amount of fiber. That way you don’t feel like you have to eat a lot of it to feel satisfied. Fiber also happens to be great for your gut since it helps you stay regular and your gut bacteria loves it! Which we now know that we are more bacteria than human cells anyways. Keep those little guys happy with some good food and lots of fiber. Your body will thank you!
Now let’s talk about this beauty – the carrot cake!
The reason why I called it Brazilian style is simply because Brazilians have a different way of making carrot cake. A typical American carrot cake comes with carrot shreds, dried fruit, nuts, coconut shreds, and spices. It’s lastly covered with some cream cheese frosting of sorts. The Brazilian carrot cake is a little simpler. It’s just the carrots and they’re meant to be blended very well in the dough. So for this one, you’ll use a blender or food processor instead of a mixer.
A traditional Brazilian carrot cake will also be topped with a chocolate ganache or just a delicious layer of chocolate brigadeiro. And if brigadeiros are new to you, they consist of condensed milk, milk (optional), and cacao cooked in a pan until it thickens. You then roll it into little balls and top it with chocolate sprinkles. To have brigadeiro as a cake topping, you cook it less so it’s not as thick and then you just coat your cake with it. It’s quite delicious!
However, for this recipe I did want to go simple and make it more about the carrots. Sans chocolate. And if you are wondering why it has 2 different colors, well here’s my hypothesis. I believe that this happened because I might not have mixed it enough and the tiny tiny carrot pieces were heavy and sunk to the bottom while it was baking.
Why did I still post this one?
For one main reason. I want you to see that cooking and baking are not perfect. Little mistakes happen here and there and you learn from it. That’s how you become good at something. By practicing. And it’s what I always say, I am not a chef. But I do love food and am taking the time and dedication to give my body amazing nutrients. Because it’s my main self-love and self-care act.
I now invite you to join me in also making tons of mistakes in the kitchen my dear friends. It’ll be fun! 😉
Carrot Cake Recipe
Makes 1 loaf
3-4 medium carrots (peeled and sliced)
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup oil of choice (tip – go with melted coconut oil for an added coconut flavor)
3 eggs (organic if possible)
1 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour
1 cup tapioca flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In the food processor or blender add: carrot slices, brown sugar, oil, and eggs. Blend until mix is smooth and you no longer see carrot pieces.
Add to the cake mix the flours, baking soda, and baking powder and mix until even combined.
Pour cake batter in a baking dish – I used a loaf pan. Bake for about 55 minutes. NOTE: if you’re using a cake baking dish instead, baking time will be less (probably around 45 minutes).
Check if cake is fully cooked by pricking it with a fork or toothpick in the middle. If it comes out clean, it’s fully baked.
Enjoy with a delicious cup of tea, coffee, or hot cocoa.
Store cake in an airtight container in the fridge.
I’ve been a huge fan of lentil soup for quite some time now. I mean what’s not to love? Lentil soup is super fast to make, it requires just one pan, the ingredients are pretty inexpensive, and it’s a complete nutrition dream when it comes to nutrients.
Lentils in general are an amazing source of fiber and protein. And when you combine it with extra veggies. WOW! Now that’s what I call a superfood meal. And that’s why I try to include lentil soup in my menu every other week. Because meal prepping becomes that much easier when you have a few go-to favorites. Lately, I find myself buying lentils practically every week.
As many of you know, I’ve been on a mission to cut back on my plastic consumption. And unfortunately lentils typically come in small plastic bags in the supermarket. So you can imagine my excitement when I discovered a local store that sells grains, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, and a bunch of other yummy favorites in bulk! All you have to do is bring your containers. A win for zero waste and I can now FULLY enjoy my lentils.
For this week’s version of my lentil soup, I added baby potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, celery, and spinach. And I can’t recommend enough this combination. But you can also simplify it and stick to just adding tomatoes or just spinach. Make it your own. Add, remove, replace, and tweak to your little heart’s desire.
Lentil Soup Recipe
1 1/2 cups lentils
About 3-4 cups of water (depends how you like your soup)
1/3 white onion (chopped)
5-6 baby potatoes (cubed)
2 tomatoes (cubed)
2 medium carrots (sliced)
A handful of spinach
2-3 celery stalks (chopped)
Spices to season: 1 tsp of each smoked paprika, garlic powder, and turmeric. Salt and black pepper to taste.
In a medium pan, cook onion with a little bit of olive oil using medium high heat.
Add to the pan the spices, potatoes, and carrots to cook for a couple of minutes.
Add the water, tomatoes, and celery and allow to boil.
When water starts to boil, lower the heat of the stove, add the lentils, cover the pan with lid, and allow to cook for about 20-25 minutes.
Try the lentils and veggies to make sure everything is cooked. If it’s still a little too firm, let it cook for an extra 5 minutes. Also this is when you want to adjust the flavor. Add more spices or salt if needed.
Add spinach last and give it a stir. You’ll notice that the spinach will cook pretty quickly and incorporate with the rest of the soup.