Freshly Made

Halloween Treats! Superfood Monster Heads

I had the pleasure of joining the founder of Beaming, Lisa Odenweller, and Brad Wills on Fox 5 San Diego last week to talk about ways to “Trick Out Your Halloween Treats” … via, you guessed it, SUPERFOODS! Watch the full clip HERE as we talk about what makes superfoods so incredible, then grab the recipe we made on air below to make your own healthy (and super fun) treats!


A great project for kids to put together and enjoy superfoods! Makes about 1½ dozen “monster heads.” Adapted from “No Bake Brownies” from Superfood Kitchen © 2012 by Julie Morris, Sterling Publishing Co.


1 cup raw walnuts

1 cup Medjool dates, pits removed

½ cup cacao powder

2 tablespoons Beaming Protein Powder (or your favorite protein powder)

pinch sea salt

¼ cup chocolate shavings or mini chocolate chips

[Toppings (each in small bowls]

  • ½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • spirulina powder to preference (about ½ -1 teaspoon)
  • a few spoonful’s Goji berries
  • a few spoonful’s hemp seeds
  • a few spoonful’s sunflower seeds
  • a few spoonfuls cacao nibs
  • 1 tbsp melted coconut oil


In a food processor, briefly grind the walnuts into a coarse flour. Add the dates and process until chunky. Add the cacao powder, protein powder and sea salt and process once more until a crumbly dough has formed. Test the constancy – dough should be stick together easily and slightly malleable, if not, blend in water – 1 teaspoon at a time. Transfer to a medium bowl.

Lay the wax paper on a flat surface.  Mix coconut flakes and a little spirulina in a bowl to create light green flakes, and spill out the mixture onto wax paper. A tablespoon at a time, pack the cacao dough into a tight ball by hand, and roll around in green coconut, using a dab of coconut oil if needed to adhere more coconut. Use toothpick to help shape a mouth (etc) and other toppings to make eyes, nose, teeth, etc with different toppings. Stick with a toothpick and transfer to a serving plate.

5 amazing superfood candy recipes

One thing I particularly appreciate about this season is getting asked quite a bit about a subject that’s rather dear to my heart: chocolate. And, jumping on the excuse, I always end up making a few new chocolate candy recipes, clearly inspired by all the delectable discussion. Tis the season of cacao powder.

This year, I wanted to take the chocolate parade to a new level. There were just too many goodies to choose from to share just one recipe, so not only did I decide to create an EPIC chocolate recipe collection, but I asked some of my favorite superfood-savvy chefs to share their most popular recipes too. Between the subject matter, and the recipes themselves, this is the may be one of the most exciting collections ever known to mankind. I kind of really do mean that.

1. Raw Raspberry Cream-Filled Chocolate Candies

Recipe and image by Amber Shea Crawley

Author of Practically Raw as well as the highly anticipated Practically Raw Desserts, Chef Amber Shea definitely knows a thing or two about making incredible raw desserts! But really, this particular recipe just takes my breath away. The gorgeous raw cacao exterior, followed by the va-va-VOOM of the soft raspberry filling is just over the top wondeful. RECIPE

2. Bliss Balls

Recipe and image by Marni Wasserman

It’s no wonder Marni Wasserman’s highly acclaimed classes and upcoming cooking school consistently generate such a buzz: the recipes she offers continue to be the inspiring combination of healthy, simple, and SMART. These impeccable donut-hole-esque treats are a perfect example of how quickly an incredible dessert can come together when made with just the right natural ingredients. RECIPE

3. Chocolate Haystacks

Recipe and image from Raw & Simple, by Judita Wignall

Yearning for the secret to chef Judita Wignall’s gorgeous glow? It’s all in the food! Between her successful book Going Raw, and her popular new work Raw & Simple, Judita stylishly shares mouthwatering recipes that make the healthy benefits of the raw food lifestyle a motivatingly delicious adventure. Case in point: these chocolate haystacks (WOW!!!), which Judita describes as “super–simple to make and will brighten anyone’s day. I use longer coconut threads to give it that haystack look, but you can use the finely shredded coconut with the same great results. Jazz it up with some chopped nuts or hemp seeds for a little nutrition boost.”

Makes 12 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes

2/3 cup (66 g) cacao powder
½ cup (118 ml) maple syrup
1⁄₄ cup (59 ml) coconut oil, warmed to liquid
½ vanilla bean, scraped, or small pinch of vanilla powder
1⁄₄ teaspoon sea salt (optional)
2 cups (160 g) shredded coconut

Blend cacao powder, maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla, and salt in a blender or food processor until smooth.

In a bowl, hand mix the shredded coconut with chocolate mixture.

Line a plate with parchment paper. Use a spoon or melon scoop to form twelve to fourteen individual haystacks on the parchment paper. Freeze for thirty minutes or until firm.

The haystacks can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer for one month.


4. Vanilla Cacao Bliss Bites

Recipe and image by Meghan Telpner

Cooking class extrodinairre, spunky Nutritionista, and author of the upcoming UnDiet cookbook, Meghan Telpner has an undeniable knack for motivating people to eat “the good stuff” through her accessible, flavorful, easy recipes (and super fun attitude!). With these luscious vanilla-cacao treats on the queue, I can’t wait to get on the “UnDiet” bandwagon! RECIPE


5. Salted Caramel Bonbons

Recipe and image by Julie Morris

And, of course, I couldn’t help but include one of my own recipes in the mix. While I still am a die-hard fan of the “perfect-anytime” simple raw chocolate recipe included in Superfood Kitchen, this “whole-new-level” recipe was inspired by a friend who gave me the request to create something “chocolately, with caramel, and salty-crunchy.” Ahem, um, how can I say no to that? With in a moment, I knew homemade bonbons were in the near future, and the resulting recipe is just ridiculously wonderful: deep, dark, raw chocolate that wraps a soft, nougat-like caramel center … with just a touch of salty crunch. I know, I know, I know...

Makes 2½ dozen bonbons


For the caramel:

6 tablespoons coconut butter*
¼ cup agave nectar, or liquid sweetener of choice
½ teaspoon maca powder
1 teaspoon lucucma powder (optional)
¼ teaspoon sea salt

For the chocolate:

2/3 cup cacao butter, solid form – cut into shavings
2/3 cup cacao powder
1/8 teaspoon instant coffee granules (optional)
pinch sea salt
3 tablespoons agave nectar, or liquid sweetener of choice

For the base:

¼ cup pretzel sticks**
2 tablepsoons raw pecans

You will need 2 bonbon trays for this recipe.

Make the caramel first: In a small saucepan, melt the coconut butter over low heat until softened. Add the liquid sweetener, maca, lucuma, and sea salt, and stir well to combine. Remove from the heat. Transfer the contents to a small pastry bag, and let cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, make the chocolate. Use a double boiler method to gently melt the cacao butter into a liquid. Transfer to a bowl, and add the cacao powder, coffee granules, and sea salt, and whisk to combine. Pour in the liquid sweetener and stir well. Spoon chocolate into the bonbon trays, filling each cavity to the top. Over a bowl, flip the trays over and tap out the excess chocolate, leaving just a thin layer in the bonbon trays. Transfer to a freezer, and let the chocolate shells harden – about 15 minutes.

While the chocolate is setting, place the pretzels and pecans in a small zip-lock bag and seal, removing any excess air. Use the back of a heavy jar, or a wooden spoon to crush the contents into fine bits, leaving a little bit of texture.

To assemble, remove the chocolate shells from the freezer. Pipe a small dab of the caramel into each one – about ¼ teaspoon. Use the pretzel mixture to fill the shell ¾ full, pressing down gently to pack into place. Carefully top with chocolate, filling to just below the baseline. Return the bonbons to the freezer to let fully set – about 20 minutes.
For best results, keep bonbons refrigerated or in a cool place to prevent the raw chocolate from melting.

*Use a coconut butter like this one – do not substitute with coconut oil.

** Look for whole wheat or gluten-free varieties.

Pumpkin-Lucuma Pie

pumpkin_lucuma_pieWith a busy holiday week ahead, I have little time to write a proper post, but I DID want to share a fabulous pie recipe with you. It seems every year I go on a personal quest to create a lower sugar, lower fat pumpkin pie, and this year I’m so pleased with the wonderful recipe that’s emerged.

To begin, it’s delicious. If you like pumpkin pie, you will love this one.

But this special pie has two pretty major healthy secrets underneath it’s tasty exterior. The first secret is the use of organic silken tofu (be sure to use an organic or a certified non GMO brand). Incorporating tofu in the place of eggs, cream, or even cashews, gives the pie a deceptive richness while making it very low in fat, lower in calories, and high in protein (WIN!). I’ve seen many plant-based pie recipes use this trick, and for good reason: it works. And incredibly, you won’t taste it a bit.

The second ingredient trick which I love even more however, is the use of lucuma powder. As I’ve mentioned before, this South American fruit provides a complex-flavored sweetness, yet is naturally very low in sugar. It also has a slightly squash-like undertone, meaning it is the PERFECT addition to a pumpkin pie! Using lucuma powder in this recipe means that though a very minimal amount of sugar is used (just a tablespoon per serving!) we can still retain all the traditional flavor. You can definitely feel proud serving this one up to your friends and family – for all the right reasons! Learn more about lucuma powder here.

Pumpkin Lucuma Pie

Makes 8 servings


1 15 oz can pumpkin puree
1 12.3 oz package organic silken tofu
½ cup coconut sugar
⅓ cup lucuma powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon powder
½ teaspoon ginger powder
¼ teaspoon clove powder
1 prepared pie crust (preferably whole grain and dairy-free)


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

In a food processor, combine all the ingredients – except the pie crust – and mix until completely smooth. Pour the pumpkin mixture into the prepared pie crust, and spread into a flat layer. Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, then lower the heat to 350 and bake for 40-45 minutes longer, or until the top has slightly browned and the crust is golden. Remove from the oven, and let the pie cool completely to room temperature, to fully set. Slice and serve; will keep up to 4 days, unrefrigerated.

Serving suggestion: Make a coconut whip cream by chilling a can of full-fat coconut cream in the refrigerator overnight. Scoop out the separated cream from the water, and use a hand-held blender to whip the cream until slightly stiffened. Top the pie with coconut whip cream when ready to serve.

Back to basics… smoothie-style

I think summer was designed with a glitch in its programming – the only reasonable explanation I can come up with for why time DEFINITELY goes by at a super-sonic rate during the warmer months. Not cool, mother nature; not cool.

Personally, I’ve been working my slightly sunburnt tail off these past few months on a couple of projects… one of which, I’m tremendously happy to now be able to share with you. Navitas Naturals has put together a brand new Smoothment – a “Back to Basics” week-long initiative of superfood smoothies. I have 7 totally new recipes I’ve made especially for this event, which starts tomorrow, and you can get all of them by signing up here. Plus, we’ve put together quick little daily videos on how to make each one, there’s bonus recipe tips, and just by signing up you get 30% off all superfood ingredients. Yes!

I hope you’ll join me in this week-long smoothie celebration, and invite your friends! Check out all the goodness the Smoothement has to offer here. Lots o’ love and see you there!

Amazing, Amazing, Amazing: Maple-Maca Ice Cream (with Chocolate Chips!)

Behold the bowl of fabulous.

Once upon a time, I had a full-blown ice cream addiction, and it wasn’t a pretty sight. It was ritualistic summer days of pint-sized fun, the inevitable “just a little something sweet after dinner,” and a laughable accruement of cookie-dough bites and peanut butter cup morsels stealthily plucked and devoured from the larger “family” bin. Tighter jeans? Evening headaches? These *minor* inconveniences were no match for the lure of a moment spent with a cold, creamy, melty spoonful of ice cream bliss. My one and only excuse: teenager.

When I came around to understanding food a bit better, the ingredients of ice cream appalled me. Even the brands made with “all natural ingredients” were still made of all natural junk. Really really condensed all natural junk. As in, there’s nothing good going on in there. Gross and ew. Eventually, I turned my back on conventional ice cream forever; ice cream and I were over.

Little did I know just how re-inspired I would become when working with raw food desserts…

Though I don’t specify myself as a “raw food” chef per se, I do love many of the techniques and elements of the raw philosophy, and often incorporate them into the recipes I make. Specifically, I cherish the idea that we can lean on whole, plant-based, clean foods (and superfoods!) to create 99% of the flavors, textures and colors of almost any dish we crave … yes, even ice cream. Cream and sugar? Who needs them when you have cashews or almonds, and dates or maple syrup? Talk about an upgraded treat!

When I was contributing recipes for Brendan Brazier’s latest literary masterpiece, Whole Foods to Thrive, I had a lot of fun creating some, dare-I-say, ice cream recipes with benefits. There’s a lovely mint one made with real mint leaves, there’s an action-packed protein ice cream, and then there’s my favorite ice cream recipe of all: Maple-Maca Ice Cream (with chocolate chips!). I’ve shared my love for using the maca in recipes here before, and I don’t see that trend stopping any time soon. Maybe it’s this bona fide superfoods’ profound benefits (the mineral-rich maca root has adaptogenic qualities, which may support the regulation of stress and repair, balance hormones, boost sex drive, and enhance strength and energy… all without being a stimulant). Or, maybe it’s the fact that the potent, earthy, butterscotch-esque flavor is completely enchanting when combined with friendly flavors. All I know is that it’s a good thing maca ice cream didn’t come in store-bought pints when I was a teenager, else I may have never moved out of the frozen food aisle.

At last, your ice cream with benefits is served…

Maple-Maca Ice Cream with Chocolate Chips

Though this ice cream is perfect for warm weather, maca has a slight warming quality, making it a good pick for cooler days as well. You do not need a ice cream maker for this recipe, however, if you do not have access to a high powered blender (like a Vitamix, Blendtec, or even a Magic Bullet), soak the cashews and water together for 30 minutes before blending for smoother results.

Makes about 1 pint (4 servings).

1 cup raw cashews
1 cup water
½ banana
¼ cup maple syrup
2 Tbsp gelatinized (or raw) maca powder
pinch sea salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup chopped dark chocolate

Blend all ingredients – except the chopped dark chocolate – in a blender until completely smooth. Transfer to a bowl or Tupperware container and freeze for 30 minutes. Mix in dark chocolate chunks into the cold ice cream, then continue freezing, covered, until frozen through – about 6-8 hours. Let defrost for 5 minutes before serving to soften.

Note: If you have an ice cream maker, feel free to put it to use for a fluffier texture.

© 2012

Quinoa-Chia Energy Bars

Though energy bars may have been designed with elite athletes in mind, they’ve become an absolute staple for active, busy people as well. (Present company included!) And though there are SO many prepackaged options to choose from (some of which I do admittedly enjoy often), as I’ve mentioned before what I really love best is making them at home — not only because they can they be made into gazillions of various flavors, but also because homemade efforts allow 100% control over the ingredients.

With your perfect bar just a mixing bowl away, it’s hard not to get creative with such a hands-on, simple snack. Need more protein? Pack some protein powders in. Looking for lower calories? Add shredded vegetables like carrots in as filler. And of course, so often energy bars are overly (as in, crazily overly) sweetened. I mean, not every snack needs to have an over-the-top candy bar flavor, nor the sugar content to match. With this in mind, I’m happy to share a recipe I’ve been making a lot at home lately: extra-natural bars sweetened entirely by fruit, with no added sugar, no honey, no agave … nothing. How nice for a change! They’re also gluten free, and even stash a bit of protein with their quinoa base. Plus, fabulous chia seeds are responsible for holding everything together in each and every delicious bite. Grab-and-go energy a la superfoods!

Quinoa-Chia Energy Bars

These bars are entirely fruit sweetened, and have no added sugar.

Makes 16 bars


¾ cup Medjool dates, pits removed (about 7-8)

2/3 cup white grape juice

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

¼ cup chia seeds, divided

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1½ cups quinoa flakes

1 cup unsalted pistachios, shells removed and coarsely chopped

½ cup raw walnuts, coarsely chopped

¼ teaspoon sea salt

1½ teaspoon cinnamon

1½ cup dried figs (White Turkish variety is the best), chopped coarsely


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 8×8-inch pan* with parchment paper. Combine the dates with the white grape juice and vanilla in a small blender and let soak for 10 minutes to soften. Blend until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl, and add the chia seeds. Mix well to avoid chia clumps, and set aside for 10 minutes to allow the chia to thicken.

Meanwhile, melt the coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the quinoa flakes, pistachios, and walnuts. Cook, stirring frequently for 3-4 minutes until the quinoa and nuts are fragrant. Add the sea salt and cinnamon and cook for 30 seconds more, then remove from heat and transfer contents to a large bowl. Mix in the chopped figs, and add the saturated chia mixture. Stir well to distribute the ingredients and form a chunky dough.

Transfer the dough to the prepared baking pan, and press down firmly into a flat layer. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool before cutting into 16 2×2-inch squares. When wrapped, energy bars will keep up to a week.

*If you don’t have a pan this size, line a baking/cookie sheet with parchment instead, and simply hand-form the bar “dough” into an 8×8 inch flat square.

© 2012


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