Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Sunflower Seed Butter Double Whammy

2 for 1 recipe special! Whoop Whoop! (I'm a nerd)

I recently confessed my love for Sunflower Seed Butter and I've got not one, but TWO healthy recipes to share with you! Sunflower seed butter is good on just about everything.
  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Toast
  • Oatmeal
  • Porridge
  • Granola
  • Berries
  • Tortillas
  • Crackers
  • Healthy baked goods
  • Pancakes
  • Waffles
  • French Toast
  • Muffins
  • Sandwiches
  • Burgers
  • And more!
See? Everything!

Beyond what you may slather it on, it's great to bake with. And I've been experimenting for you!
Tough job, but somebody has to do it.

First up, the most decadent ZUCCHINI BROWNIES on the web! Strong declaration? I know. I'm passionate like that. But, I truly think they're the best, in my humble opinion. They're fudgy, buttery but not buttery, crispy on the edges, moist, and everything else good. They're also dark-chocolatey. So, this recipe is especially for my dark chocolate lovers. Also, for all of you with too much zucchini from your garden that you don't know what to do with.

My favorite way to enjoy them is with a scoop of ice cream. I buy goats milk ice cream or almond milk ice cream. They're also good plain, with a cold glass of almond milk on the side. Hey, they'd even be good blended up in one of those healthy milkshake thingamajigs you guys are making. Anyway, they're good. You should try them.

These brownies are gluten and dairy free.


2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Cup sunflower seed butter
1 1/2 Cup (or 2 small) zucchini, grated
1/4 Cup honey
1 Egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 Cup semi-sweet gluten and dairy free chocolate chips (I used enjoy life chips)
1 Tablespoon coconut oil, plus more for greasing

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8x8 glass baking dish with coconut oil.
  • In a microwave-safe bowl or in a double-boiler, melt the chocolate chips with the coconut oil. Remove from the microwave or double boiler and let cool for 5-10 minutes.
  • Once slightly cooled, add the remaining ingredients and thoroughly combine.
  • Pour into your prepared baking dish and bake for 35-40 minutes.
  • Let brownies cool before slicing.
  • Can be stored in an air-tight container for approx. 5 days. I also like to store mine in the freezer.
  • Optional tip- If you don't fancy DARK chocolate, omit the cocoa powder from the recipe.

And next up, Chocolate-chunk, Oat, and Sunflower seed butter cookies! I created this recipe on an impromptu thunder-storm craft day that seems like it needed cookies involved. I was right, and they turned out delicious. These cookies are gluten and dairy free!


1/3 Cup Coconut oil, melted
1/4 Cup sunflower seed butter
3/4 Cup honey or maple syrup
2 eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 Cups Oat flour (gluten free)
1 1/2 Cups gluten-free oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch (or arrowroot, if you prefer)
2 Cups gluten and dairy free chocolate chunks (I use enjoy life)

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper
  • In a bowl, combine coconut oil with honey, sunflower seed butter, vanilla, and eggs.
  • In a separate bowl, stir together the oat flour, oats, salt, cornstarch, and baking soda.
  • Use a small ice cream scoop or spoon to scoop dough onto the cookie sheets, about 2 inches apart.
  • Bake for approximately 8-10 minutes. Do not over bake!
  •  Remove from the oven and use a spatula to remove cookies from the pans and place on a wire rack or the cool and clean countertop.
  • Store in an air-tight container for up to one week.
  • I like to store extra cookie dough in the freezer. Thaw out for quick cookies when needed or you can spoon it into a mug, microwave for 1-2 minutes, and top with almond milk ice cream.


Sunflower seeds are considered to be one of the "worlds healthiest foods". They are high in Vitamin E, Selenium, and Magnesium. Making them super-healthy for everyone, but especially those battling high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease, pregnancy, asthma, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, menopause, diabetes, poor brain function, and the list goes on.

They're fat soluble, full of antioxidants, and a natural anti-inflammatory! It's also said that they reduce the risk of colon cancer.

Cool tip- Sunflower seeds or sunflower seed butter can help calm your nerves, your muscles, and tension headaches if you are experiencing physical symptoms of stress.
Ladies in menopause- they can help turn down the heat (hot flashes)!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Lentil & Wild Rice Salad

It's in my nature to continue to change, progress, and cure my curiosity. Whether that's a flaw or an attribute, it's present in every aspect of my life. My family likes to joke that I wake up one day wanting to be an astronaut, and the next I'll express my desire to be a goat farmer, or something like that. Funny as it sounds, it's an accurate observation. While it may be helpful that I continue to progress in my career, the hankering to take on new work is a hindrance. Whenever I have a logical moment, I realize that chasing the bunnies is no good. That I'd probably be far more successful at this point if I stuck to one thing for a substantial amount of time. However, those logical moments don't last long before I'm off chasing another bunny.

Same goes for food. I know I could become an expert in one type of cuisine if I cooked for that purpose every day. Some days, I'm sure I'm a classic American cook and I always will be. I might have even told you that before. But lets be honest, tomorrow I will be certain I was born to cook German fare or maybe an expert in Italian cookery. Some weeks, I prep my meals ahead of time and cook from a list of tried and true recipes. Other weeks, I'm extremely outgoing and adventurous and live out a new kick I'm on through food.
I can go on and on with this post. I could go have a cup of coffee, come back and write a paragraph about some things I cook every week. Then again, I could go make breakfast and come back to write a paragraph about how my meals are never the same. I realize this is making me sound loony. I assure you, I'm not. However, this salad kind of is. That's the point I was getting to- I have a wild and crazy salad recipe for you! I created it on an adventurous whim from leftover ingredients and a few dried goods found in my pantry. On some sort of kick, dying to eat something new and exciting, this salad was born. Sometimes, it can be an entrĂ©e salad. Other times, it can be a side dish. Whatever mood you're in, this salad is always good.
1 Cup dried lentils
1 Cup dried wild rice
1/2 Cup (or more, if you wish) chopped fresh mint
2 Cups red seedless grapes
salt and pepper
1/4 Cup olive oil
1/4 Cup apple cider vinegar
1 Cup goat feta, crumbled
  • Cook the lentils and the rice following package directions. When fully cooked, place in a bowl together and refrigerate until cooled completely.
  • Once cooled completely, add salt, pepper, feta, mint, grapes, olive oil, and vinegar. Toss to combine. Serve cold.
  • This recipe makes a large amount of salad. Will feed a family of 4 allowing plenty for leftovers.