I think we can all agree Halloween is the most fun holiday. Everyone gets to dress up, carve pumpkins and eat candy. It does not get better than that. Not to mention we are all still stoked on the seasons changing and all things Fall and pumpkin spice. Hands down the best time of year. For Halloween I usually let my son pick a couple of the items out of his candy bucket to enjoy so he does not feel completely left out, but the truth is he is not allowed to eat junk foods and candy often at all. So, I trade him for organic, healthier treats. This year I made something he would not want to pass up for a trade in, homemade Twix bars! It was really a toss up between Twix and almond butter cups but I wanted to try something new. I am so glad I did, each layer of this faux Twix is flavorful and guilt free if you ask me. These delicious Twix bars are vegan & gluten free and you would never even know it.
1 cup of chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life because they are Non- Gmo, nut free, dairy free, soy free)
Preheat the oven to 350 and line a 8×8 square pan with parchment paper.
Mix all your shortbread ingredients well, add mixture to your pan while pressing firmly and evenly to form to the bottom of your pan.
Pop the shortbread into the oven and let bake for 10-12 minutes, until it is golden in color, then let cool.
While the shortbread is cooling down make the date caramel by tossing all ingredients into your blender or food processor blend until it forms a creamy consistency. If you wish for your caramel to be creamier slowly add a little more non dairy milk or water.
Once the caramel is finished, spread a thick, even layer onto your shortbread, then refrigerate for about an hour or until caramel has firmed.
Now time for the best part, the chocolate. Add coconut oil and chocolate chips to a double boiler and melt down the chocolate chips, poor melted chocolate onto into the middle of your square pan onto the shortbread and caramel, smooth and even out. Let cool in the refrigerator for another hour
Once you are ready slice and portion out into individual bars, make sure your knife is nice and warm to help cut through the hardened chocolate. You can do this by running your knife under hot water or warming by holding it over a warm oven burner. Cut down the middle first then cut 6 pieces on each side to make 12 twix bars. Store in refrigerator.
I am part of a soup loving family. We will eat anything soupy or stew-like anywhere, anytime! This recipe in particular is one of my son’s favorites and I can’t say I blame him. Nor do I mind cooking it for him since it is so good and so nutritionally balanced. Providing everything from nutrients, vitamins, and fiber from the vegetables to healthy saturated fats from the coconut milk, and a great source of plant based protein from the lentils. Coconut curry is creamy, flavorful and comforting. Especially this time of year when the weather is starting to cool down.
2 teaspoons of coconut oil
2-3 garlic cloves chopped
1 yellow onion, diced
2 celery stocks, chopped
2 carrots sliced
1/2 a bell pepper, color of your choice, chopped
2 cups of leafy greens of your choice, destemmed & chopped (kale, swiss chard, or spinach)
1 can of diced tomatoes (BPA free) or 1 3/4 cup of fresh diced tomatoes
1 canned full fat coconut milk (BPA free)
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger or 1/2 an inch knob of fresh ginger, grated
2 heaping teaspoons of red curry paste
1 wedge of lime
5 cups of vegetable broth
2 cups of red split lentils
Cilantro (optional for topping)
Green onions (optional for topping)
Place coconut oil to your pot over medium heat. When melted, add chopped onion, sauté and stir around until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, and continue to stir and sauté for another minute.
Now place all of your vegetables except your greens to the pot. Stir around to coat with oil then add your ginger, salt, red curry paste and squeeze in that wedge of lime. Mix around until all vegetables are coated with seasonings.
Toss in tomatoes, coconut milk and five cups of vegetable broth. Bring to a boil
Reduce heat and add lentils, simmer for 25 minutes
Remove from heat, add greens and stir.
Optional: Top with more lime, cilantro and/or green onions and enjoy
Yesterday on my Starting From Soil Instagram I promised everyone my chocolate chia seed pudding recipe, so here it is! By the way if you are not following me on Insta yet you should be 😉 I love Chia seeds in general because of their cost efficiency. A small amount goes a long way and the shelf life is 4-5 years, plus, they are so versatile! You can throw them right into smoothies and jams, toss them in when making energy bars or cookies for added protein, and can be used as an egg replacement— along with flax— when baking. But one thing I would like to advise is, if you consume chia seeds unsoaked make sure to drink plenty of water. Chia seeds can absorb 10-12x their weight and can absorb that water from you during the digestion period. But I think it is safe to say we all probably need to drink a little more water anyway! But don’t let that turn you off, these seeds are a modern day super food! Chia seeds are derived from the Salvia Hispanica plant native to South America. They might be little, but are packed with antioxidants and loaded with fiber, protein, healthy fats (Omega 3), that is just to name a few of their benefits.
I have fallen in love with chia pudding lately because of all the fun preparations. You can dress it up with fruit and granola and eat it for breakfast or drizzle it with chocolate and enjoy it for dessert!
2 tablespoons of chia seeds
2 teaspoons raw cocao powder
4 heaping teaspoons of unsweetened shredded coconut
Dash of cinnamon
Dash of sea salt
1/8 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of maple syrup (if you like it sweet double this)
2 heaping teaspoons of almond butter
1 1/4 non dairy milk
Mix all ingredients up very well
Refrigerate over night
Enjoy! Don’t be scared to jazz this pudding up to your liking! I love adding bananas, strawberries and blueberries to it with more coconut flakes. I also love drizzling extra almond butter or maple syrup over the top!
This recipe fills up a 12 oz jar. It is enough for 2 breakfasts for me if I top it will fruit!