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  • APRICOT MANGO CHIA PEARL PUDDING

    Serving size: 2 I like my chia pudding thick and creamy which is why I make mine with blended cashews and dates. I also like to add some pearl powder in my mixture which is totally tasteless and undetected but adds some major beauty benefits. I know it sounds odd and even inedible but pearl powder (made from finely ground fresh water pearls) promotes lustrous, clear, moist, and supple skin and even helps stimulate our body's natural collagen production. Of course, chia seeds alone help your skin glow with their high content of omega-3 fatty acids, but the added pearl powder in this pudding makes this a recipe for a seriously luminous complexion. If the pearl powder sounds too bizarre to you, feel free to leave out and you'll still get plenty of incredible benefits from the chia pudding as is. CHIA PEARL PUDDING INGREDIENTS • 1/3 cup cashews (soaked) • 4 dates, pitted • 1 1/2 cups water • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract • 1/2 teaspoon pearl powder (optional) • 1/8 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt • 5 tablespoons chia seeds • 1 cup apricot mango purée* (recipe below) • diced mango for topping The pearl powder I use is by Jing Herbs, available at Erewhon Market. Moon Juice also makes a pearl powder available online or at Erewhon Market as well. While pearl powder is great for improving things like skin tone, it's also useful for strengthening hair and nails. APRICOT MANGO PURÉE INGREDIENTS • 2 cups cubed fresh mango • 2 dried apricots Using dried apricots instead of fresh apricots adds a slightly tart taste to this mixture that I love. Dried apricots are also rich in fiber, thereby helping digestion function and have the highest vitamin A content out of all dried fruits. Interestingly, dried apricots also have more than twice as much iron in them as fresh apricots which makes them an incredible option if you are plant-based and need to be more mindful about getting enough. APRICOT MANGO PURÉE DIRECTIONS Add the mango and dried apricots to a food processor or high-powered blender and purée until smooth. Transfer to container and refrigerate until ready to use. CHIA PEARL PUDDING DIRECTIONS After the cashews have soaked in warm water for an hour, drain and discard the water. Add the cashews to a blender, followed by the dates, pearl powder, vanilla, salt and blend until completely smooth. Transfer the blended cashew mixture to a glass container, bowl, or jar and stir in the chia seeds until well incorporated. As I said, I like a thick chia pudding but if you like a thinner chia pudding you can use 3 tablespoons instead of the 5 tablespoons that I use or try somewhere in between by using 4 tablespoons. Let the chia mixture sit for roughly 10 minutes then stir the mixture again. Place the chia pudding in the fridge and allow to sit anywhere from a few hours to overnight. Once ready to serve, top with the apricot mango purée, diced fresh mango, or any other fruits & toppings of choice. I find chia pudding to be very light, yet extremely filling and satisfying. It's always great to make in advance and keep on hand in the fridge and is one of the easiest things to throw together as a breakfast, snack, or even dessert option with endless variations.

  • LEMON GINGER ROSEMARY MOCKTAIL

    Serving size: 1 Those that know me know this is my signature mocktail combo. There's something about ginger paired with rosemary that I just can't get enough of. You'll notice that all my mocktail recipes have some health-supportive component to them to elevate them above essentially "sugar water". If you're going to be putting something in your body, you might as well make it worthwhile and have it do *some* good for you, no matter how small. MOCKTAIL INGREDIENTS • 1 tablespoon rosemary syrup* (recipe below) • 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice • 1 piece fresh ginger (size of a brazil nut) • 1 dropper full The Nue Co. Defense Drops • ice cubes • 1/2 cup ginger flavored kombucha These immune boosting drops from The Nue Co. work like a charm and are made with a blend of herbs and adaptogens like echinacea and astragalus to support immune function as well as schisandra berry and eleuthero to help the body's stress response. I love all of their products and highly recommend checking them out. My kombucha of choice for this mocktail (and always) is GT's Kombucha "Gingerade" flavor. Side note: the black bottle version (as opposed to the clear) taste SO much better so be sure to buy those if available. ROSEMARY SYRUP INGREDIENTS • 1/2 cup raw honey • 1/2 cup water • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary DIRECTIONS FOR ROSEMARY SYRUP Combine the honey and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low, add in the rosemary sprigs and simmer for 1 minute. Then, turn off the heat and allow the rosemary to steep in the liquid for a minimum of 1 hour (the longer you let it sit, the stronger the rosemary flavor). Allow this mixture to cool completely before using and discard the rosemary sprigs. Store in a glass jar. This syrup is so heavenly, I truly wish I could use it in more things. DIRECTIONS FOR MOCKTAIL In your glass, stir together 1 tablespoon of the rosemary syrup and the lemon juice. (For a stronger rosemary flavor or for a touch more sweetness, use 2 tablespoons of the rosemary syrup.) Using a garlic press, squeeze the piece of fresh ginger over your glass to add fresh ginger juice to the mixture and scrape off any ginger pieces from the press into the glass. You may use 2 pieces of ginger (about the size of a brazil nut each) if you desire more of a kick. Add in 1 dropper full of the immune boosting drops from The Nue Co. and stir everything together. Add the ice cubes to the glass, followed by the kombucha and give the glass another stir. Top with a sprig of fresh rosemary, lemon slices, and garnish of choice (I picked these little flowers on my morning walk and couldn't resist adding them). This is a classic mocktail for me for a reason. Outside of the health benefits from the fresh pressed ginger juice, lemon juice, and kombucha in here, the immunity drops take this up another level as a true tonic featuring adaptogens and more. The drops also tie in the rosemary theme with the addition of rosemary extract (a natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal).

  • FIG WALNUT ROSEMARY CROSTINIS

    Serving size: 12 Figs might be my favorite fruit of all time and this recipe features both dried and fresh figs. My homemade dried fig & walnut rosemary crackers are better (and fresher) than anything you can buy in stores and the recipe could even double as a delicious loaf of fig & walnut bread if you were to forgo the final step of the process that turns them into crackers. FIG & WALNUT CRACKER INGREDIENTS • 1 cup whole wheat flour • 1/2 cup dried figs, chopped • 1/4 cup walnuts, finely chopped • 1 tablespoons flaxseeds • 1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped • 1 teaspoon baking soda • 1/2 teaspoon salt • 1 cup almond milk • 1 tablespoon lemon juice These crackers are nutrient-dense and fiber-packed with the mix of dried figs, nuts and seeds. The figs are especially cleansing because of their high fiber content (more than prunes), they're an incredible plant-based source of calcium, and actually contain the highest concentration of polyphenols found in any dried fruit. The walnut & seed blend also adds a dose of healthy fats essential for healthy skin, hair, balanced hormones, brain function, and better mood. FIG & WALNUT CRACKER DIRECTIONS Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together all of the dry ingredients then pour in the almond milk and lemon juice and stir to combine. Pour the batter into a parchment paper lined loaf pan and bake for 35 minutes. Once you remove the loaf from the oven, allow to cool completely. The longer you let it cool the easier it will be to slice. At this point, you could enjoy this as a bread, but we will continue on to make the crackers. You could even save half the loaf to use as a fiber-packed bread throughout the week and use the other half to make crackers. Once the loaf has cooled completely, use a serrated knife to slice the loaf as thinly as possible into the cracker pieces. A single loaf can yield roughly 24 crackers or more and the thinner the slice, the crispier the cracker. Spread out all of the thinly sliced bread pieces onto parchment lined baking sheets and bake for an additional 15-18 minutes until they have crisped up. Keep in mind, they will also continue to crisp up once taken out of the oven and are cooling on the baking sheets. Once cooled, they're ready to enjoy for a variety of uses and will keep for about 2 weeks if stored in an airtight container. One of my favorite ways to enjoy these is with a good vegan spread topped with fresh figs. I've shared one of my go-to spread recipes below. BLACK TRUFFLE SPREAD INGREDIENTS • 1 3/4 cup cashews (soaked) • 1/2 cup water • juice of 1 lemon • 2 tablespoons truffle oil • 1 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt • 3/4 cup shallots, chopped • black pepper to taste BLACK TRUFFLE SPREAD DIRECTIONS Sauté the chopped shallots in a little olive oil over medium low heat for approximately 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, allow to cool and set aside. After the cashews have soaked for 2 hours, add them to a food processor or high-powered blender followed by 1/2 cup fresh water, the lemon juice, truffle oil, salt, pepper and cooled shallots. Blend until completely smooth. I recommend placing the spread in the fridge to chill before serving. FIG CROSTINIS For the crostinis pictured here, I simply topped each cracker with some of the spread followed by fresh cut figs and a sprinkle of crushed nuts. This is always a crowd pleaser not only because they're so tasty, but also because they look so beautiful sitting out. They're perfect to throw together when you're having company and easy to snack on as little hors d'oeuvres. The crackers are sure to be mistaken for the store bought version but will taste even better, I promise.

  • HEARTS OF PALM KELP CRAB CAKES

    Serving size: 9 These are a remake of a dish I like to get at one of my favorite vegan restaurants in Los Angeles, Crossroads Kitchen. For the record, Catch LA also makes a delicious vegan crab cake. Hearts of palm offers a shockingly similar taste and texture to that of crab, making it the perfect substitute for vegan crab cakes. The finished product is almost indistinguishable and I actually think the plant-based version tastes even better. These are crispy on the outside yet moist and flaky on the inside with a subtle "from the sea" taste from the kelp granules. INGREDIENTS • one 15 oz can garbanzo beans (save liquid) • two 14 oz cans hearts of palm • 4 tablespoons saved garbanzo bean liquid • 1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise ••1 teaspoon vegan worcestershire sauce • 1 teaspoon lemon juice • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard • 1 tablespoon kelp granules • 1 tablespoon dried parsley • 1 1/2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt • 1/2 cup green onion, sliced • 1 cup breadcrumbs I use these kelp granules from Whole Foods. In addition to adding a "sea-like" flavor to the dish, kelp is a nutrient-dense type of seaweed that's rich in vitamins, minerals, trace elements, and antioxidants. It's one of the best natural food sources of iodine, can raise energy levels and boost brain function. Kelp also contains a natural fiber called alginate which studies suggest may help stop the gut from absorbing fat and thereby aid in weight-loss. DIRECTIONS Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Begin by adding the garbanzo beans and hearts of palm to a food processor and pulse until the ingredients are mashed into a crab-like consistency. Do NOT overdo this step to the point that the mixture resembles hummus, we don't want that. Set this mixture aside. In a large bowl, whisk the reserved garbanzo bean liquid until you see a light foam. Next, add the vegan mayonnaise, lemon juice, worcestershire sauce, mustard and all the dry seasonings to the bean liquid and whisk to combine. Once combined, add the bread crumbs, green onion, plus the hearts of palm and garbanzo bean mixture from the food processor and mix these ingredients in by hand until combined. Form the mixture into patties/cakes (approximately 3 inches wide) and arrange them on a sheet pan. If you desire a crispier edge and outside on your cakes then lightly grease the pan before adding the patties. Bake the patties for 20 minutes, flip, and bake on the other side for an additional 20 minutes. Serve on top of greens of your choice and with a little extra dollop of the vegan mayonnaise, sprinkle of chives, or lemon wedges. These make for an incredibly satisfying appetizer and even have the potential to star as the main course of a plant-based dinner with the right plating and sides. They are decadently crispy, soft, flakey, almost buttery, and seem indulgent but are still a light, healthy, protein-packed option. I love this spin on the early American classic that I believe vegans and non-vegans alike will enjoy. Like I said, I find these even tastier than the original.

  • TANGY KEY LIME PIE SUPERFOOD TART

    Serving size: 8 Key lime pie is the perfect light and refreshing summer dessert and this raw, no-bake version is especially great when no one wants to use their oven on a hot day. I make mine with a little lucuma in the crust which gives it a mapley flavor and is a superfood with a diverse range of antioxidants. Lucuma also prevents blood sugar spikes that lead to things like hunger, weight gain, and low energy levels. It does this by preventing the body from converting carbohydrates into sugar and some studies have even shown that lucuma is on-par with many diabetes drugs in terms of its ability to lower blood sugar. INGREDIENTS • 2 cups macadamia nuts • 8 dates, pitted (soaked) • 2 1/2 tablespoons almond flour • 1 teaspoon lucuma powder • 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice • 1 1/2 cups cashews (soaked at least 1 hour) • 5 tablespoons maple syrup • 1/4 cup refined coconut oil, melted Make sure you use *refined* coconut oil here. Refined coconut oil has a neutral taste with absolutely no coconut aroma to it which is exactly what we want for this recipe. Don't worry, both refined and virgin coconut oil have the same nutritional profile. I use this brand of lucuma powder. DIRECTIONS Start by preparing the crust of the pie. Add your macadamia nuts to a food processor and pulse until they turn into crumbs. Add the dates that have been previously soaked for 30 minutes in hot water, followed by the almond flour, lucuma, and salt. Pulse the food processor until well combined, then turn up to full speed until the ingredients form together into one big ball. Add this mixture to a bowl, cover, and place in the fridge for 30 minutes. After the 30 minutes, press the mixture into the bottom of a lightly greased springform cake pan (I use this 7 inch one). Using a springform will make it easier to cut in the end but you could also use a pie or tart pan, or even make individual size servings by dividing the mixture up in ramekins. Whichever container you've chosen, place the crust in the freezer and let rest for 1 hour while you make the filling. Add your previously soaked cashews to the food processor, followed by the lime juice, maple syrup and blend until smooth. Pour in your melted refined coconut oil and blend until smooth. Take the crust out of the freezer and pour your filling on top, using a spatula to create a smooth surface. Place the pie in the freezer and let rest for 3 hours in order for the filling to harden. After 3 hours in the freezer, transfer to the fridge and allow it to rest for at least 30 minutes before you plan on serving. This will make sure it's no longer frozen. Garnish with fresh lime wedges or zest. I love the slightly sour, bright, and fresh flavor of this dessert. Because it's served chilled, it's even more perfect on a hot summer night. Plus, you're getting a little boost of vitamin C & antioxidants from all the fresh lime juice.

  • THAI BASIL & MINT SOBA NOODLES

    Serving size: 2 This is a dish I always come back to because it's so refreshing, always makes me feel like I'm on vacation when enjoying it, and packs in a variety of vegetables in a fun, truly delicious way. The fresh mint, thai basil, crisp vegetables and vibrant vinaigrette are mouth wateringly juicy and I'm always left wanting seconds. INGREDIENTS • 8 oz package soba noodles • 2 carrots • 1 cucumber • 1/3 cup radishes, julienned • 1/4 cup green onions, minced • 2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped • 3 tablespoons thai basil, chopped • 3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped • 2 tablespoons black sesame seeds • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar • 3 tablespoons tamari • 3 tablespoons honey or maple syrup • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced Soba noodles are made out of buckwheat which is naturally gluten-free despite what its name suggests. I love buckwheat because it contains all amino acids and is therefore considered a complete protein for vegans. It has high levels of fiber, antioxidants, and contains rutin, a bioflavonoid that helps protect your skin from sun damage & pollution as well as quercetin which helps reduce inflammation. Plus, buckwheat has no trace of phytic acid, an "anti-nutrient" found in most other grains that prevents your body from absorbing nutrients properly. If you can't source thai basil, regular basil works just fine and is just as delicious. DIRECTIONS Begin by cooking the soba noodles according to the package instructions. Once cooked, chill the noodles in the fridge while you prepare the rest of the dish. Julienne your carrots and cucumber. I highly recommend using a mandolin to get them into very fine, uniform matchstick shreds. Add the julienned carrots & cucumber, julienned radishes, minced green onion, chopped mint, basil, cilantro, and sesame seeds to a large bowl. In a small bowl, combine the rice vinegar, tamari, honey or maple syrup, finely minced garlic and whisk to combine. Remove the chilled soba noodles from the fridge and add to the bowl with the vegetables and herbs. Pour the vinaigrette over the soba noodles & vegetables and toss to combine. Garnish with additional sesame seeds and mint. I could eat this every day for lunch. It's almost reminiscent of spa food because of the fresh mint, hydrating veggies, and bright & beauitful color palette. This is an incredibly simple dish that feels like you ordered it at a restaurant and tastes a lot more complex than the process actually required to make it. It's also delicious with some marinated & glazed tofu on top.

  • PINK ROSE COLLAGEN MOCKTAIL

    Serving size: 1 This mocktail creation came about organically as a creative means to get my daily shot of apple cider vinegar in. I found that the astringent nature of the ACV was disguised well in some coconut water, rose essence, and honey. I was originally drinking this in the morning and then realized it would make for a great mocktail and later started adding my plant-based collagen dose to it for even more beauty benefits. INGREDIENTS • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar • 1/2 cup coconut water • 1 tsp rosewater infused honey • 1/2 tablespoon The Beauty Chef's Collagen Inner Beauty Boost • ice Using Harmless Harvest coconut water will impart a natural pink hue and will be further amplified by the collagen booster. My favorite brands of rosewater infused honey are Makabi & Sons and Zach & Zoe. If you do not have access to rosewater infused honey, use 1 tsp of raw honey and add several drops of rosewater. DIRECTIONS This is a relatively straightforward mocktail combination. Combine the apple cider vinegar, rosewater infused honey, and collagen booster in a glass. Stir until the honey is well dissolved, then add the ice followed by the coconut water and stir once more. I like to serve this one in a martini glass and strain out the ice. Just be sure you don't skip the ice step entirely as this tastes much better completely chilled. I love how sexy, sophisticated, and fun this mocktail looks and that it completely disguises the taste of apple cider vinegar. I notice a huge difference when I'm being diligent about my daily dose of it and this mocktail makes it easier to get down. Adding the collagen boost is optional, but I am a huge fan of this product as it supports your body's natural production of collagen and plumps & protects your skin from the inside (amongst countless other benefits).

  • RAW REISHI RICOTTA GARDEN PIZZA

    Serving size: 4 This is absolutely not a thick-crust, doughy, melted cheesy pizza nor is it trying to be. A raw vegan pizza is entirely its own thing and it also happens to be one of my favorite things. The "crust" is typically made from a blend of buckwheat, nuts, seeds, or veggies and is then crisped up using a dehydrator, topped with a raw spread and of course, fresh toppings. This certainly looks different than your average slice of pizza and, in contrast, is bursting with health supportive benefits with everything from the plant-packed crust to the garden-fresh toppings. On top of that, all of the nutritive value is retained since it is prepared completely raw. RAW CRUST INGREDIENTS • 2 large carrots carrots, chopped • 2 large shallots, roughly chopped • 1/2 cup olive oil • 1 2/3 cup sunflower seeds (soaked) • 2 cups sun-dried tomatoes (soaked) • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast • 1/2 tablespoon salt • 1 1/2 cups ground flaxseeds • 2/3 cup buckwheat flour Foods are considered "raw" as long as they don't exceed a temperature of 118 degrees, at which point their nutritional profile changes and certain things like enzymes will begin to break down. With this in mind, we will be dehydrating the crust at 115 degrees in an effort to preserve as many nutrients as possible. RAW CRUST DIRECTIONS After you have soaked both the sunflower seeds and sun-dried tomatoes for at least 3 hours, drain and discard the water. Add the carrots and shallots to a food processor and blend until they have formed into a paste. Next, add only half of the olive oil, blend until smooth then transfer this mixture to a bowl. Add the soaked sunflower seeds & sun-dried tomatoes, along with the nutritional yeast and salt to the food processor and blend until smooth. Add your remaining olive oil to the food processor and blend until well incorporated. Now, add this mixture to the bowl with the puréed carrots & shallots. Pour in the ground flaxseeds and the buckwheat flour and stir until all of the ingredients are well combined. Spread the mixture out in a thin layer on your parchment paper lined dehydrator sheets and dehydrate at 115 degrees for 12 hours, flip the crusts over and dehydrate for another 12 hours. This goes without saying, but this is not a last minute dish and definitely requires some planning in advance. I know the long dehydrating time sounds daunting but it's really as simple as getting it started the day before and just letting it sit. Note: If you don't have a dehydrator, you can use your oven at its lowest temperature. Some air fryers even have a "dehydrate" setting that you could also use. I own and absolutely love this dehydrator because it's compact and always produces a quality product. RICOTTA INGREDIENTS • 4 3/4 cups cashews (soaked) • 2 cups fresh water • 1/2 cup lemon juice • 3/4 cup nutritional yeast • 2 teaspoons reishi powder • 1 teaspoon salt • pepper to taste RICOTTA DIRECTIONS Add your previously soaked & drained cashews to a food processor, followed by all the rest of the ricotta ingredients and blend until completely smooth. Set aside in the fridge until ready to assemble the pizzas. PESTO INGREDIENTS • 5 cups loosely packed basil • 1 2/3 cup spinach or kale • 1 cup pistachios • 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice • 1 teaspoon salt • 1 cup olive oil PESTO DIRECTIONS Add the basil, spinach, pistachios, lemon juice, and salt to a food processor and purée until smooth. Pour in the olive oil, purée until well incorporated, then set aside in the fridge until ready to assemble the pizzas. RAW PIZZA ASSEMBLY For the pizza crust, you can either cut the dehydrated sheets into your desired shapes, break them apart for an uneven edge (what I did here), or leave them whole exactly how they came out of the dehydrator. Simply spread a layer of the ricotta across your crust, followed by dollops or a smear of the pesto, and toppings of your choice. For an earthy, from-the-garden look and taste, I did sliced cherry tomatoes, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, arugula and shaved fennel. The topping combinations are truly endless — get creative and experiment with as many different fresh and colorful vegetables as you can! Raw dishes can be some of the most delicious and satisfying creations. When I was 16 years old, I actually became a "raw vegan" meaning I only consumed completely raw foods and later transitioned into being a regular vegan. I still can't get enough of many of the foods I fell in love with over 10 years ago (especially some of the raw treats and desserts) but I do enjoy the broader scope of vegan cooking options I have now. Whatever you identify as, a raw meal can significantly up your intake of fruits, veggies, nuts, & seeds along with their untainted nutrient content.

  • SILKEN CHOCOLATE CREAM PIE

    Serving size: 8 You'll never guess what's in this chocolate cream pie that makes it so silky, creamy, and smooth — its tofu, and I promise, you don't detect a single hint of it. Silken tofu is ideal for use in plant-based desserts because of its delicate body, subtle milky neutral flavor and its ability to create a soft, pudding-like texture. I'll admit, I was hesitant when I first started experimenting with tofu in a sweet application but don't knock it 'till you try it because it creates some of the best vegan desserts I've ever had. INGREDIENTS • 2 cups raw pecans • 1/4 cup date sugar or coconut sugar • 1 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil • 2 1/2 cups vegan semisweet chocolate chips • 2 cups silken tofu • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract • 1 teaspoon sea salt I exclusively use the Enjoy Life brand of semisweet chocolate chips because I've found they're the best tasting chocolate chips, even including non-vegan chocolate chip brands. If you're unable to find silken tofu at the store, you may replace it with soft tofu, but silken tofu will work best. DIRECTIONS To prepare the crust, combine the pecans and coconut sugar in a food processor and pulse until formed into crumbs. Then add the coconut oil and only 1/2 teaspoon of salt and pulse (you will use the other 1/2 teaspoon of salt in the filling). Remove the crumb mixture from the food processor and transfer to a pie pan, pressing the mixture into the bottom and sides of the dish and set aside while you make the pie filling. Add the silken tofu, vanilla extract, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the food processor. Melt all of your chocolate chips, then add the melted chocolate to the other ingredients in the food processor and blend until very smooth. Pour the chocolate filling into the pie shell smoothing the top with a spatula. Place the pie in the refrigerator and allow it to set for at least 20 minutes. Once it's completely firm, slice and serve. Top with fresh berries or non-dairy whipped cream. The options are endless when it comes to applying silken tofu in desserts and incorporating it actually makes for some of the simplest recipes with very few other ingredients needed. The filling of this pie has an unbelievably velvety rich whipped feel to it and is a nice light yet decadent treat. It comes together quite quickly, but the end result looks and tastes as if you spent all day making it.

  • ADAPTOGEN HAZELNUT HOT COCOA

    Serving size: 1 There's nothing more cozy or comforting than curling up with a cup of hot cocoa, but you already know I won't tolerate a Swiss Miss hot chocolate mix or anything that dares come close to it (sorry). Of course, my version has to have some sort of health promoting properties. I make mine with homemade hazelnut milk (a natural compliment to the cocoa flavor), a couple different adaptogens, and mesquite which is loaded with vitamins, minerals, and fiber. HOT COCOA INGREDIENTS • 1 cup homemade hazelnut milk* (recipe below) • 1 tablespoon cacao powder • 1 tablespoon maple syrup • 1/2 teaspoon ashwagandha • 1/8 teaspoon shilajit • 1-2 teaspoons mesquite Ashwagandha is one of my favorite adaptogens because it's ideal for stress management, anxiety reduction, and improved sleep quality. Shilajit, while lesser known, is said to support every system of the body, primarily brain function, energy levels, immunity, and reducing general fatigue. It's also packed with naturally occurring phytonutrients and more than 85 trace minerals. A little bit goes a long way and packs a punch of flavor so not much is needed. I source both my ashwagandha and my shilajit from Moon Juice and I like this brand of mesquite from amazon. Side note: mesquite also actually acts as an adaptogen by helping the body respond to stress. HAZELNUT MILK INGREDIENTS • 1 cup hazelnuts (soaked for 2 hours) • 3 cups water • 3 dates, pitted • 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla powder • 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt I don't personally drink coffee, but I'm told my hazelnut milk pairs nicely with it. Other than that, it's delicious on its own or with any chocolate flavored drink. When making homemade nut milks, be sure your nuts of choice are always raw and not toasted or salted. HAZELNUT MILK DIRECTIONS Place the hazelnuts in a bowl, cover with room temperature water and allow to soak for 2 hours. Once the nuts have finished soaking, strain out all the water from the bowl and discard. Place the hazelnuts and 3 cups of fresh water, along with the dates, vanilla powder, and salt into a high-powered blender. Blend until smooth, then pour the contents of the blender through a nut milk bag over a bowl. Wring out the bag to squeeze all the milk out (this recipe will make about 2 1/2 cups of milk). Pour the milk from the bowl into glass jars and enjoy throughout the week. I use these nut milk bags because they are reusable, easy to use & clean, and also filter out the nut milk pulp perfectly. HOT COCOA DIRECTIONS Pour 1 cup of the hazelnut milk into your frother followed by the cacao powder, maple syrup, ashwagandha, shilajit, and mesquite. Set your frother on the heat and foam function and let it do the rest! Once complete, pour into your favorite mug and enjoy. I have this most nights after dinner as a little sweet and rich treat. I've grown to crave it as a pre-bedtime wind down ritual and the ashwagandha in here definitely sets me up for a better night's sleep. If you're looking for a ready-made healthy alternative hot cocoa mix, I HIGHLY recommend Moon Juice's Cosmic Cocoa which is a blend of cacao, adaptogens, and more with the most incredible flavor to it. Some nights I'll even use this in place of my own recipe.