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Orange Essence Ginger Snaps

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Here’s what you’ll need:

1 cup coconut oil or butter, softened

1 1/4 cup sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp orange extract

1 tbsp  orange zest

1 1/2 large egg or 1 extra-large egg, room temperature

1/3 cup molasses

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

2 1/2 tsp cinnamon

3 tsp ginger

1/8 black pepper

  1. Cream coconut oil and sugar together until fluffy.
  2. Add vanilla and orange extracts, and eggs.  Add molasses until combined.
  3. Sift flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and black pepper.
  4. Stir flour mixture into wet mixture.  Add 1/3 of flour mixture at a time until combined.  Do not over-mix.
  5. At this point you can form cookie batter into a ball, slightly flatten, and wrap in plastic wrap before freezing (This method is for rolling out dough for cookie-cutter).  Or line loaf pan with plastic wrap being sure to leave overhang on all sides.  Press dough into loaf pan and press down firmly and evenly with overhanging plastic.  This step makes it easy to cut into slices before baking.
  6. Freeze dough for at least one hour or longer before slicing (loaf method).  Allow dough to defrost for about 2 hours at room temperature before rolling out (cookie-cutter method).
  7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  8. Slice cookies no more than 1/8″ thick.  I like to take a chunk of cookie dough and lay it on a wax paper, take another sheet of wax paper and lay it on top of the cookie dough in order to roll out dough.  It’s also easy clean-up.
  9. Place cookies on sheet pan lined with wax paper.
  10. Cook for 7-12 minutes.  Cook for less time depending on the thickness of your cookies.
  11. Cookies will become crispy after cooling.
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Kickin’ Spice Nuts

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You’ll Need:

1 cup raw mixed nuts ( I used walnuts and almonds)

1/8-1/4 tsp chili powder

1 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tbsp coconut sugar or brown sugar

1/2 tsp unsweetened coco powder

1/8 tsp black pepper

pinch salt

2 tsp coconut oil or canola oil

*Note: (If you have problems digesting nuts, soak them in water for at least 30 minutes or up to 24  hours in the refrigerator before preparing.  Soaking the nuts in water also starts the sprouting process, which boosts nutritional value.)

Heat nuts in hot skillet for about 4 minutes.  Remove from heat and pour nuts into a bowl.  Set aside.

Add chili powder, ginger, cinnamon, sugar, coco powder, black pepper, salt, and coconut oil to skill.  Cook until glaze begins to form, about 1 minute.

Add toasted nuts to spice mixture and stir.  Make sure all nuts are coated with spice mixture.  Cook for 1-2 minutes or until nuts are golden brown.

Store in air tight container to maintain freshness.

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Oat & Fruit Bake

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Oats & Fruit Bake

(Makes 6 Servings)

2 med. Bananas, mashed

2 med. Apples, grated

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1 cp oats

¼ cp walnuts, chopped

¼ cp slivered almonds

½ tsp baking powder

¾ tsp cinnamon

Dash of salt

1 cp almond milk

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp coconut oil

  1. Grease 2-quart baking dish with coconut oil.
  2. Preheat oven at 375 degrees.
  3. Mix all ingredients in medium bowl.  Pour mixture into pan.
  4. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until top is brown.  Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

Recipe adapted from: http://www.annies-eats.com/2011/09/12/baked-oatmeal-with-fruit/

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Brussels Slaw with Almonds and Ginger Dressing

Ginger Brussels Slaw with Almonds

(This week’s Brown Bag Secret Ingredient: Almonds)

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(Makes 4 servings)

1/2 pound brussels sprouts, shredded

4 tbsp slivered almonds

2 tbsp raisins or dried cranberries (optional)

1/4 tsp sea salt (optional)

Ginger Dressing:

1 cup shredded carrots

1/3 cup white wine or rice vinegar

2 tbsp Tahini (sesame paste)

1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated

1 tbsp soy sauce

4 tbsp honey

1 apple or pear (optional)

1/4 cup sesame oil

1/4 cup canola oil

  1. Wash and shred brussels sprouts first if you are unable to find pre-shredded sprouts.  Set aside.
  2. Boil water while making dressing.
  3. Next, add carrots, vinegar, tahini, ginger, soy sauce, honey, and apple/pear (for extra sweetness) to blender or processor.  Blend mixture on low and gradually increase speed until mixture is smooth.
  4. Slowly add sesame and canola oil to blender.  Set dressing aside.
  5. Add salt and brussels sprouts into boiling water.  Boil for 5 minutes.
  6. Drain sprouts and rinse with cold water to stop cooking process and keep them crisp and green.
  7. Shake away as much excess water as you can before adding sprouts to mixing bowl.
  8. Slowly add ginger dressing to sprouts until desired flavor intensity is reached.
  9. Add almonds and raisins before serving.
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Citrus Avocado Pie (Vegan)

Citrus Avocado Pie (Vegan)

(This week’s Brown Bag Secret Ingredient: Almonds)

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Crust:

1/2 cup raw walnuts

1/4 cup raw almonds

8 medjool or deglet noor dates (soaked in water or coconut milk for 1 hour)

1/8 cup shredded coconut

Filling:

2 avocados

1 lime (you will need zest and juice)

1 lemon (juice only)

2 tbsp sugar or 1 tbsp of stevia

2 tbsp coconut flour (optional)

4-6 tbsp lite coconut milk

  1. Add dates, walnuts, almonds, and coconut to food processor or blender.  Blend until combined and paste forms.  I like my crust a little chunky so feel free NOT to mix until completely smooth. No need to bake crust.
  2. Press mixture into a small springform pan or pie pan.  Get creative if you want and use any shape.
  3. Next, blend avocados, lime juice and zest, lemon juice, sugar, coconut flour and 4 tbsp of coconut milk.  Add more if needed.
  4. Pour avocado mixture into crust.
  5. Freeze for 45 minutes to 1 hour before serving!
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Coconut Banana Creme Bowl

I love ice cream.  I mean, who doesn’t?  It’s creamy, sweet, smooth, and out of this world, but it can also damage the waistline.  Everything in moderation, right?  For the past few years I’ve noticed quite a few alternatives to the typical ice cream or fro-yo shops and I have to admit that I’m very impressed with the new kids on the block.  For those of us who aren’t able to enjoy dairy and are just tired of the same soy products on the market, there are more nut and coconut based options.  But one thing that I really enjoy making in my own home is a banana based ice cream made from, well, just bananas!  I was inspired by Gwyneth Paltrows’ new cook book, It’s All Good!

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Here’s what I came up with!

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Coconut Banana Creme Bowl

(Makes 2 Servings)

(Adapted from: http://www.self.com/fooddiet/recipes/2013/04/banana-ice-cream-roasted-almonds)

2 Bananas

1/4 cup lite coconut milk

1/2 tsp coconut extract

1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder (optional)

2 tbsp sweetened shredded coconut

  1. Line cookie sheet with wax paper.
  2. Slice bananas into 1/4″ pieces and spread evenly on cookie sheet.
  3. Freeze bananas for 3-4 hours.
  4. Add banana pieces, coconut milk, extract, and protein powder into blender until soft serve consistency.  Add more coconut milk if needed.
  5. Toast shredded coconut on dry non-stick pan until slightly brown.  Watch coconut carefully to avoid burning.  Coconut will toast quickly once heated through.
  6. Divide banana mixture into bowls and top with toasted coconuts.  Feel free to add other toppings!
  7. ENJOY!
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