Strawberry Chia Popsicles

Disclosure: I was paid by Natural Delights to write this post/recipe. But rest assured, all thoughts and ideas are my own, and I would never recommend a food or product I didn’t fully believe in.
strawberry chia popsicles

It is officially summer. Kids are out of school. Humidity is crazy, and the temperature only gets warmer each day. My kids love playing outside... and they love snacks... so what's better than a Strawberry Chia Popsicle on a hot and sunny afternoon??

My girls have been begging for these popsicles all the time, and the dietitian in me has no problem letting them devour them. Sweetened with just the natural sugars found in strawberries, coconut water, and Medjool Dates, they're a guilt-free treat you and your kids can enjoy. And they're also loaded with electrolytes and antioxidants to replace anything you lose while sweating in that hot summer sun.

And did I mention they only take about 5 minutes to mix up? The hard part is having enough patience waiting on them to freeze!

Strawberry Chia Popsicles

Strawberry Chia Popsicles

Yield: 4 popsicles

6 medium strawberries
1/2 cup coconut water
2 Tbsp medjool date paste (see instructions below) 
2 Tbsp chia seeds

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend for 15-20 seconds. Pour into popsicle molds and let freeze for at least 4 hours. 

Date Paste

6 Natural Delights pitted medjool dates

2 cups filtered water

Combine medjool dates and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Let boil for 10 minutes with lid on. Remove from heat and let it cool for 10-15 minutes. Place medjool dates and 1/4 cup of liquid in food processor and process until smooth. (You may need to stop and scrape down the sides 1-2 times.) Store in a small mason jar or another container with a lid for up to 7 days.

Turkey Burgers with Cheesy Bacon Corn Relish

turkey burgers with cheesy bacon corn relish

Whether you serve these Turkey Burgers with Cheesy Bacon Corn Relish as is or on a bun, they will rock your world! The flavors combine into the perfect summertime meal. If you've got the grill fired up, feel free to grill the burgers instead of pan frying them... either way, I know you'll love them!

Turkey Burgers with Cheesy Bacon Corn Relish

turkey burgers with cheesy bacon corn relish

Turkey Burgers

2 pounds ground turkey
2 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup quinoa flour
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 Tbsp Everything but the Bagel Spice (or your other favorite spice mix)

Bacon Corn Relish

2 cans no-salt-added corn, drained
1 can Mushroom Soup (I used Amy's Mushroom Bisque)
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
6 slices uncured pork bacon, cooked and crumbled

Brussel, kale, broccoli slaw
Chosen Foods Avocado Oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine all of the relish ingredients. Mix to combine. Pour into a greased baking dish, and bake for 30 minutes. 

Meanwhile, warm a large skillet with a thin layer of avocado oil over medium-high heat on the stove. In a large bowl, combine all of the turkey burger ingredients and mix well with your hands. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop the meat out onto a sheet of parchment paper. Using wet fingers, press the patties flat. (They will stick some to the parchment paper and you may need to reshape them slightly when you place them in the pan.) Transfer 4 patties at a time to the skillet. Cook for 8 minutes on the first side, flip, then cook for 4 more minutes. Repeat with remaining meat.

Once the relish is done baking, remove it from the oven and let it sit for at least 20 minutes. Then, pour into into a mesh strainer and let the excess liquid drain out. 

Once the burgers are done cooking, use the grease in the pan to sauté the slaw for a few minutes until it starts to wilt. 

Serve on buns, or as is with relish and sauteed slaw (pictured). Enjoy!

Avocado Frozen Hot Chocolate

avocado frozen hot chocolate

avocado frozen hot chocolate

Avocado Frozen Hot Chocolate

1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
2 Tbsp Namaste Foods Raw Goods Rice Milk Powder
3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups crushed ice
1/2 medium avocado, peeled, pit removed
2 medjool dates, pits removed

Combine all ingredients in your blender and blend on high for 60 seconds.

You can also add 1 drop Young Living peppermint essential oil.

avocado frozen hot chocolate

Gluten Free Texas Sheet Cake

I love dessert... all forms... I don't discriminate. If it's sweet, I'll probably like it. And if it's made from quality ingredients, even better!

If you haven't figured it out, I don't believe in depriving myself. If I want something, I'll eat it. But I'm also going to be resonsible about it, and not over do it. This way, I leave feeling guilt-free and totally satisfied... everyone wins!

This Gluten Free Texas Sheet Cake is moist, delicious, rich... it's gluten free (duh), can be made dairy free if needed (see instructions below)... and is no where close to healthy. But that's ok. Let yourself have a little (and maybe a little the next day!) and then share it with your friends and family... you'll be their new favorite person... I promise. 

gluten free texas sheet cake

If you're not familiar with Texas Sheet Cake (also called Texas Ranch Cake sometimes) get ready to have your mind blown! It's the perfect combination of cinnamon, chocolate, and all-around delicious-ness. The cake is extremely moist, but also fluffy. And the icing is what I call "runny/gooey" in the best possible way. If nuts aren't your thing, feel free to skip them... but take it from a cake connoisseur, they're the icing on the cake... or maybe that's the actual icing in this case? Hmmmm. Either way, you won't regret making this cake!

gluten free texas ranch cake

Gluten Free Texas Sheet Cake

gluten free texas sheet cake
gluten free texas sheet cake

Time: 40 minutes

Cake ingredients
1 cup refined coconut oil
4 Tbsp cacao powder
1 cup water
2 cups coconut sugar
2 cups gluten free flour blend (I use Namaste Foods GF flour blend)*
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup buttermilk*
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs, beaten

Icing ingredients
1/2 cup coconut oil
4 Tbsp cacao powder
6 Tbsp whole milk*
3 3/4 cup (1lb) powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans

For the cake:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees (325 if you are using a convection oven). Bring the coconut oil, cacao powder, and water to a boil in a small sauce pan. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine the coconut sugar, flour, baking soda, sea salt, and cinnamon. Using a whisk, mix the dry ingredients making sure they are well combined. In a small bowl, combine the buttermilk, vanilla extract, and eggs. Mix to combine. Add the egg mixture to your dry ingredients and stir briefly. Next, add the chocolate mixture. (Make sure it has had a few minutes to cool one wants scrambled eggs in their cake!) Stir the batter until combined. Line a 13x9 pan with parchment paper (or grease with an oil of your choice). Pour the batter into the pan and spread with a spatula to cover the bottom. Bake for 25 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

For the icing:
While the cake is baking, warm the coconut oil, cacao powder, and whole milk in a medium size sauce pan, but do not let it boil. Once it is melted and fully combined, remove the pan from the heat and add the powdered sugar and vanilla. Return the icing to the stove top and let it stay warm on the lowest setting allowed by your stove. (You don't want it to be too hot, but you also need to keep it slightly warm so it doesn't begin to set in the pan.)

Once the cake is done baking, remove it from the oven and immediately pour the icing on top, spreading to make sure it covers the entire cake. Sprinkle pecans on top. Let it cool to room temperature before serving.

gluten free texas sheet cake

*To make the cake dairy free: substitute 1/2 cup coconut cream plus 1/2 Tbsp vinegar for the buttermilk.

*To make the icing dairy free: Substitute coconut cream for the whole milk. 

*If you do not need the cake to be gluten free, regular wheat baking flour, or all-purpose flour can be substituted.

Strawberry Beet Superfood Smoothie

Disclosure: I was paid by Natural Delights to write this post/recipe. But rest assured, all thoughts and ideas are my own, and I would never recommend a food or product I didn’t fully believe in.
strawberry beet superfood smoothie

Strawberry season is in full swing around here, so what better time to revamp this Strawberry Beet Superfood Smoothie recipe than now?! The main theme in re-doing most of my smoothie recipes is to decrease the effect on blood sugars (or reduce the glycemic load), and allow the flavor of the main ingredient, in this case strawberries, to shine through. So, how do we do that?

First, we need to swap out the banana(s) for something equally as sweet, but with a less intense flavor.  Bananas can be very overwhelming in dishes, to the point that that's pretty much all you taste. This is where medjool dates come in. They have roughly the same amount of sugar (possibly more, depending on how many dates you use), but the impact on blood sugars is less intense. It takes our bodies longer to digest the sugars in medjool dates, so we don't see the same spike in blood sugar that we would with bananas. That's why I love using them in recipes, like my Chocolate Peppermint Energy Bites and Avocado Banana Cookies!

Next, we need to swap out the secondary fruit (usually pineapple in a lot of my smoothie recipes) for a vegetable or lower sugar fruit. Here, I've decided to go with beets! and if I'm being completely honest... it's totally because I wanted it to be a deep red color!

Strawberry Beet Superfood Smoothie

strawberry beet superfood smoothie

2 cups frozen strawberries

1/2 cup sliced beets (fresh or frozen)

1 cup dark greens (I use kale or collard greens)

strawberry beet superfood smoothie

2-3 pitted medjool dates

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut water

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

2 Tbsp chia seeds

2oz Young Living Ningxia Red (optional)

1 scoop The Natural Citizen Organic Digest, Organic Energy, or Organic Protein (optional)*

Blend all ingredients together for 60 seconds in a high powered blender. Enjoy in a glass or bowl! Add toppings if you'd like! Recipe makes 2 servings.

Note: The above recipe works best in a high powered blender. If you do not have a high powered blender, you can use a food processor OR increase the amount of coconut water used. 

*This is an affiliate link. I make a small commission if you decide to purchase any Natural Citizen products. I love their products and the company philosophy, and I know you will too!

Bacon Grilled Cheese on sweet potato toast

bacon grilled cheese on sweet potato toast

Sometimes you're making dinner, and it just hits you... the most genius idea EVER.

I was fixing some grilled cheese that I planned to pair with some roasted brussel sprouts and uncured bacon for an easy Sunday night dinner.

I was also prepping some sweet potato toasts to eat out throughout the coming week, and then it hit me... what if I combined the two?! And that's the epic story of how the Bacon Grilled Cheese on sweet potato toast happened. (I know what you're thinking... totally epic.) I hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

Bacon Grilled Cheese on sweet potato toast

bacon grilled cheese on sweet potato toast
bacon grilled cheese on sweet potato toast

Yield: 2 sandwiches
Time: 20 minutes

1 sweet potato
Chosen Foods avocado oil spray*
4 slices uncured bacon
2oz mozzarella cheese

Start the broiler on your oven. Also, preheat a skillet over medium heat on the stove.

Next, slice the sweet potato vertically into 4 slices about 1/3 in thick. Spray a baking sheet with avocado oil spray and arrange the sweet potato slices evenly on the pan. Broil for 5-6 minutes. 

Meanwhile, cook the bacon on the stove. 

After the sweet potato slices have broiled for 5-6 minutes, add 1oz of cheese each to 2 of the slices. Return to the oven and broil for 1-2 minutes until the cheese begins to brown. Remove from the oven and top the cheese slices with one slice of bacon each. Top each with a plain sweet potato slice, cut in half, and enjoy!!

*Use code milknhoney20 for 20% off your entire order at Chosen Foods!

Blueberry Superfood Smoothie

Disclosure: I was paid by Natural Delights to write this post/recipe. But rest assured, all thoughts and ideas are my own, and I would never recommend a food or product I didn’t fully believe in.
blueberry superfood smoothie

Every once in a while, you need to go back and re-evaluate old work. This smoothie is a perfect example. Now that I have a couple years of creating recipes and blogging under my belt, I do things a little differently than I did when I first made this recipe. 

Probably the biggest change you'll notice, is there are no bananas!! (cue: shocked face emoji) They can be pretty overwhelming flavor-wise and they're not so kind to my blood sugars. SO I've started replacing each banana in my smoothie recipes with 3 medjool dates. Why, you ask? Well let me tell you:

  1. They're a lower glycemic sweetener than bananas... meaning they don't spike my blood sugars as much.
  2. They have a very subtle flavor that is almost undetectable in recipes, except for their sweetness of course! In smoothies especially, banana can be very overwhelming. Using dates allows other flavors, like the blueberries in this recipe, to shine through!
  3. They have 50% more potassium than bananas.
  4. They're loaded with fiber which can help stabilize blood sugar levels much better than a banana.

Try this new and improved Blueberry Superfood Smoothie recipe to see what I'm talking about!

Blueberry Superfood Smoothie

blueberry superfood smoothie

3 pitted medjool dates

1 cup frozen blueberries

1 cup chopped raw or frozen kale

1/4 cup frozen riced cauliflower

1 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 Tbsp all natural peanut butter (optional)

2 Tbsp oats or oat bran

1 scoop The Natural Citizen Organic Digest

1oz Young Living Ningxia Red (optional)

1 Tbsp chia seeds

Blend all ingredients together for 60 seconds on a high powered blender. Enjoy in a glass or bowl and top with toppings of choice! (I love Essential Living Organic Superfood Trail Mix!)

Thai Veggie Pizzas

thai veggie pizzas

We do pizza ALL THE TIME at our house... at least once a week. But we don't stray from our usual favorites very often. It's almost always an Italian pizza with red sauce, more cheese than we should probably have, and our usual favorite toppings. So these Thai Veggie Pizzas were definitely out of the ordinary for us! But we loved them! And using a tortilla as crust means we can enjoy a whole pizza to ourselves and pile it high with toppings. 

These Thai Veggie Pizzas are perfect for a meatless Monday meal, or any day of the week. You can also add carrots, chopped peanuts, and any other plant-based toppings you'd like. OR if you're wanting to add some meat, a little ground turkey, flank steak, or shredded chicken would be amazing!!

Thai Veggie Pizzas

thai veggie pizza

Yield: 2 pizzas

Time: 20 minutes:

Honey Peanut Sauce:
2 Tbsp natural peanut butter (I use Crazy Richard's)
2 Tbsp honey
4 tsp rice vinegar
4 tsp tamari sauce
1 tsp ginger, chopped fine
3 tsp sesame oil

2 whole grain or grain free tortillas
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 cup collard greens, chopped
Avocado oil
1/2 cup shredded cheese
1/2 chopped red bell pepper
1/3 cup garbanzo beans
Chopped spinach

thai veggie pizzas

Set your oven to broil. Preheat a large saute pan with avocado oil over medium heat on the stove.

For the sauce: Combine all ingredients in a mason jar. Secure lid and shake until well combined.

Return to the saute pan and add chopped onions. Saute for 5 minutes until softened. Add collard greens and saute for 3-4 minutes. Set aside.

Lay out your tortillas on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Divide sauce evenly on the tortillas, reserving about 2 Tbsp. Divide cheese, bell pepper, and garbanzo beans between the two tortillas. Place under broiler in oven for 2 minutes. Remove from the oven and top with chopped spinach and remaining sauce. Enjoy!!

Triple Dark Chocolate Cookies

triple chocolate cookies

Imagine a cookie, so decadent, so rich, and so completely satisfying that you're happy with the way it tastes, but you're NOT craving another one and are satisfied with just one... sounds too good to be true right?! Nope. That's what these Triple Dark Chocolate Cookies will do for you. And you want to know why?? Because they're very low in sugar (sweetened only with dates), and filled with healthy fats, complex carbs, and plant based protein. I know you'll love them, and find them to be the perfect guilt-free breakfast treat, afternoon hunger buster, or late night (not so) sweet! 

Triple Dark Chocolate Cookies

triple dark chocolate cookie
triple dark chocolate cookie
triple dark chocolate cookies

Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 12 cookies

1/2 cup pitted medjool dates
1 cup water
1 cup quick oats
1 cup oat bran
3 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp cinnamon
3 Tbsp cacao powder
1/4 cup cacao nibs
1/4 cup chocolate chips*
1/2 cup PB
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup coconut milk
Extra chocolate chips or cacao nibs for topping

*If you are going for an added sugar free dessert, use extra cacao nibs instead of the chocolate chips.

Preheat over to 350 degrees. Add dates and water to a small saucepan and boil for 8-10 minutes. While the dates are boiling, combine all dry ingredients (except the extra chocolate chips) in one bowl, and all the wet ingredients in another bowl. 

Once the dates are done, add the liquid and dates to a blender and process for 60 seconds. (If your blender is not equipped to handle hot foods, wait until the dates and water have cooled off some before blending.) Add the date paste to the liquid ingredient bowl. 

Gently add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Scoop the dough using an ice cream scoop (or equivalent tool) onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Gently press the balls/scoops into flat circles. Sprinkle additional chocolate chips (or cacao nibs) on top. Bake for 15 min. Let cool completely before eating. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze.

Blueberry Pistachio "Frozen" Yogurt

blueberry pistachio frozen yogurt

I have a love/hate relationship with ice cream. I love it, like a lot. But I also hate it... because I can't have it around other wise I'd eat it all.the.time. So, what's a girl to do? Usually, a cup of yogurt int he evening will satisfy my sweet tooth just fine, but sometimes I want something just a little thicker, and little more "indulgent" feeling. Thus, I give you this Blueberry Pistachio "Frozen" Yogurt. No ice cream maker needed, and just FOUR ingredients!! 

Blueberry Pistachio "Frozen" Yogurt

blueberry pistachio frozen yogurt

Yield: 6 servings; Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

1 cup dry roasted pistachios
1 24oz tub Siggis Dairy 0% Vanilla Yogurt
1/2 cup blueberries*
1/4 cup crushed pistachios
Extra blueberries and pistachios for topping

*If you are using pistachios that have been salted, I would use dried blueberries instead of fresh blueberries.

blueberry pistachio frozen yogurt

Add 1 cup pistachios to the bowl of a food processor with the S-blade in place. Process for 10-12 minutes until you've got pistachio butter. (You may need to scrape down the sides of the bowl a couple times while this processes.) Once done, combine the yogurt, pistachio butter, blueberries, and remaining 1/4 cup pistachios in a large bowl. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving. Will keep in refrigerator for up to 5 days in a sealed container.