chocolate covered coconut cups ~vegan~

Better than a Mounds Bar…no joke.

chocolate covered coconut cups ~vegan, gluten free~

And, with out all the unhealthy ingredients!

Mounds Bar Ingredients:

CORN SYRUP; SEMI-SWEET CHOCOLATE ( CHOCOLATE; SUGAR; COCOA; MILK FAT; COCOA BUTTER; SOY LECITHIN; PGPR, EMULSIFIER) ; COCONUT; SUGAR; SALT; NATURAL & ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR; HYDROLYZED MILK PROTEIN; SODIU M METABISULFITE, TO MAINTAIN FRESHNESS; SULFUR DIOXIDE, TO MAINTAIN FRESHNESS; CARAMEL COLOR; MILK

Sodium Metabisulfite…What is that?

If you take away only one bit of information from this blog, remember this:

If you can’t pronounce it or don’t know what it is…Don’t eat it!

So, here is a recipe for a much healthier and whole-food version of a Mounds Bar!

No Sodium Metabisulfite found here!

I was inspired from a recipe found here.

chocolate covered coconut cups ~vegan, gluten free~

Chocolate Covered Coconut Cups

(makes 15 mini-cups)

2/3 cups chocolate chips, preferably vegan

1 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

pinch of sea salt

Goji berries for garnish

chocolate covered coconut cups ~vegan, gluten free~

~Add coconut, maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla and sea salt to a food processor and blend until well combined.

-Drop a tablespoon of coconut mixture into each cup of a mini-muffin tin and press down firmly.

-Melt chocolate using a double boiler, stir constantly.  When melted, pour a layer of chocolate onto each cup.  Garnish with goji berries.

-Place in the refrigerator for an hour.

-Use a knife to “pop” cups out of muffin tin and enjoy!

chocolate covered coconut cups ~vegan, gluten free~

Tip of the Day:  Often times shredded coconut is preserved using propylene glycol, an ingredient found in antifreeze!  Read labels carefully!  Bob’s Red Mill brand is easy to find and has only one ingredient: natural unsulfured coconut.

coco-chocolate covered cups ~vegan, gluten free~

Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend :)

the best butternut squash ever

Christmas is being celebrated all week long in my family!

photo-272

My brother and sister-in-law Allison were able to fly east and spend some time with us before moving on to visit more family.  Noah couldn’t have been more excited, they are better than Santa in his eyes!

Smile!

Smile face…again!

We had so much fun and ate a lot!

Wellfleet's finest!

Wellfleet’s finest!

Allison introduced me to the most amazing butternut squash recipe, flavored with coconut oil and dried cranberries.  It was so good we had her make it twice!

The best butternut squash ever ~vegan, gluten free, coconut oil~

The Best Butternut Squash Ever

1 butternut squash, cubed

1 tablespoon (plus more for taste) unrefined coconut oil

2 shallots, minced

water as needed

1/3 cup dried or fresh cranberries

drizzle honey or agave

sea salt and pepper

~First sauté two shallots in about a tablespoon of coconut oil ( non refined). Sauté a few minutes –do not brown. Add cubed butternut squash. Stir to coat in oil. Cook over medium heat about 5 mins. Do not brown– add more coconut oil as needed.  Add about a 1/4 cup of water and cover. Check frequently and cook until squash is almost fully cooked– soft enough to pierce easily with fork but not falling apart. Add a little more water as needed to keep from sticking. Add 1/3 cup cranberries (dried but could use fresh) and a drizzle of agave or honey. Also add another tablespoon of coconut oil. Stir and cook until water is largely cooked off.  Season with sea salt and pepper to taste~

The best butternut squash ever ~vegan, gluten free, coconut oil~

We opened gifts, ate, drank and were merry!

For the guy who has everything...

For the guy who has everything…

Our poor neglected pup finally got some loving!

Our poor neglected pup finally got some loving!

Thank you Marty and Allison for everything, we love you!!!

Wishing you and your family a happy and healthy holiday!!!

homemade hot chocolate with cacao powder

Here’s the perfect thing for an afternoon treat!  Good for warming up on a cool fall day or for a little pick-me-up!

You can read more about the benefits of cacao here

hot cacao

Hot Cacao

1 cup almond milk

2 tablespoons cacao powder

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1-2 tablespoons organic coconut palm sugar (any sweetener would work)

dash cinnamon

-Gently melt coconut oil and whisk in cacao powder, coconut palm sugar and cinnamon.

-Add almond milk and simmer until warm.

-Enjoy!

I threw mine into the vitamix for a whirl to make it frothy!

www.beginwithinnutrition.com