Holidays, Recipes
Dairy-Free Strawberry Coconut Ice Cream Bites

Happy 4th of July weekend, sweet friend! Hope it’s a fun-filled weekend with lots of sunshine, relaxing, great food, good company and sweet treats. And speaking of sweet treats, I have the perfect one for you to enjoy with no guilt whatsoever! I know holidays can create some anxiety around staying healthy, but make healthy choices when you can and also treat yourself too (if you want)! Restricting ourselves is never fun, can create stress and can actually cause us to think about whatever food we are trying to restrict way too much. Food is absolutely meant to nourish us, but remember it’s also for us to enjoy. So, over the weekend, make sure to have a healthy breakfast (a protein and fiber-filled smoothie or some eggs with veggies and avocado), drink plenty of water, take your vitamins, make other healthy choices when you can, #treatyoself and have F U N


Went off on a tangent – haha, to make sure and encourage you! – now back to these dairy-free coconut ice cream bites! These are the perfect July 4th healthy summer treats to cool you off and be super festive too! They are easy to make with only 4 ingredients (sticking with the holiday theme of course), so fun for entertaining, and naturally sweetened with strawberries and a few drops of liquid stevia. You can enjoy poolside or as a dessert for a holiday BBQ! They are vegan and made with whole, nourishing ingredients. If you make these (which I hope you do!), please let me know what you think in the comment section below or on my Instagram. I hope you love them!

What you will need:

Blender Star-shaped ice cube tray

Ingredients:

  • ¾ can organic coconut milk

  • 1 large handful organic strawberries

Directions:

  1. Make sure to place coconut milk in fridge overnight so the cream solidifies at the top.

  2. When ready to make your ice cream bites, take coconut milk out of fridge and scoop out all the coconut cream at the top and a little of the liquid milk at the bottom which will help everything blend together nicely. Pour into high-powered blender.

  3. Add stevia and vanilla and blend well.

  4. Pour coconut mixture into bowl. Rinse blender.

  5. Next, take a large handful of strawberries and blend in blender. (You want to blend the strawberries separate from the coconut mix to create a beautiful variety of color for the stars.)

  6. Pour blended strawberries into a separate bowl.

  7. Then take a third bowl and add some of the coconut mix and some of the blended strawberries and mix together. Spoon that mixture into a couple of the star molds.

  8. Repeat steps with varying amounts of the coconut mix and the strawberries, again to give different looks to all of the stars. Play and have fun with this!

  9. Once all of the stars are filled in the tray, place in the freezer overnight.

  10. When you’re ready to eat, take out and enjoy!

Have a wonderful July 4th weekend and holiday!
xoxo signature-silver

2

Recipes, Seasonal
Chocolate covered strawberries are one of my absolute favorite treats!  Not only for Valentine’s Day but really any time of the year.  And I have a pretty good idea that you may also love a deliciously dipped strawberry into sweet dark chocolate with fun different toppings sprinkled on top!  So, of course, I wanted to share How to Easily Make Healthy Chocolate Covered Strawberries with the Prettiest Toppings just in time for this love-inspired holiday. Not only are they delicious, they are simple to make and much healthier than the chocolate strawberries you buy at the store or bakery. 

Chocolate strawberry with cashews Chocolate covered strawberries with dried rose petals Chocolate covered strawberry with candied ginger

I have two different recipes for you to choose from, both are vegan, dairy-free and great options.  One is a bit easier I would say than the other, and the other one you’re making your own superfood chocolate!  The choice is yours – you can’t go wrong with either one!

Homemade Chocolate Covered Strawberries with toppings

Recipe One

(easier option in my opinion; plus the chocolate remains smoother)

Ingredients:

Toppings:

  • Coconut flakes
  • Crushed raw cashews
  • Mini vegan chocolate chips
  • Organic pastel sprinkles (purchased at Whole Foods)
  • Pomegranate powder
  • Dried culinary + edible rose petals (you can find at a local spice shop or order online)
  • Peanut Butter (sugar and oil free)
  • Candied ginger pieces

Directions:

  1. Wash strawberries and allow to thoroughly dry before dipping.
  2. Using a double boiler, melt chocolate over the stove until it becomes a smooth consistency.
  3. Stir often.
  4. Add in sea salt and cinnamon and stir well.
  5. Remove pot to another burner, and begin dipping your strawberries.
  6. Make sure to add your toppings quickly as the chocolate will begin to harden.
  7. I listed all the different toppings I used, but feel free to use any that sound fun to you!
  8. Place dipped strawberries on a cutting board (make sure will fit nicely in the fridge) with parchment paper on top and place in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes.
  9. Enjoy!  And share with your loved one or sweet friends and family!
Healthy Chocolate Covered Strawberries Chocolate Covered Strawberry with Pomegranate Powder

Recipe Two

(instead of melting chocolate chips, you’re making your own superfood chocolate!)
Homemade and Healthy Chocolate Covered Strawberries with Toppings

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • ½ cup raw cacao powder
  • ¼ cup + 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 1/8 tsp pink Himalayan sea salt
  • optional: 1 tbsp Madagascar Vanilla Bean ghee butter (from Fourth & Heart)

Toppings:

  • Coconut flakes
  • Crushed raw cashews
  • Mini vegan chocolate chips
  • Organic pastel sprinkles (purchased at Whole Foods)
  • Pomegranate powder
  • Dried culinary + edible rose petals (you can find at a local spice shop or order online)
  • Peanut Butter (sugar and oil free)
  • Candied ginger pieces

Directions:

  1. Wash strawberries and allow to thoroughly dry before dipping.
  2. Over medium heat, melt coconut oil.
  3. Stir in the cacao powder, syrup, vanilla, sea salt and ghee.
  4. Continue stirring until all combined into a nice chocolate consistency.
  5. Remove pot to another burner, and begin dipping your strawberries.
  6. Add a variety of your favorite toppings.
  7. Place dipped strawberries on a cutting board (make sure will fit nicely in the fridge) with parchment paper on top and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  8. Enjoy!  And share with your loved one or sweet friends and family!
Hope you have the sweetest Valentine’s Day! Lots of love!
xoxo signature-silver
0

Recipes
Detail photo of Gluten-Free Zucchini Pizza BoatsI’ve seen this concept of zucchini pizza boats floating around, so thought I would try my hand at making them myself. I wanted to create a recipe that was super easy with fresh ingredients. I didn’t know how many tries it would take to make these just right – meaning not too soft (i.e. mushy) and also not undercooked (i.e. too crunchy). It had to be just perfect! Luckily, I got it right on the first try! Hopefully, you will agree. And if it’s not exactly to your liking, just know you can bake for less or more time, depending on what you’re going for. These Gluten-Free Zucchini Pizza Boats are the epitome of a healthy, clean, plant-based meal. They have only 5 ingredients and are an excellent source of folate, vitamin A, potassium, fiber, protein, Vitamin C, omega-3 fatty acids and zinc. 

Let’s be real. You may at first think, no way that’s not pizza, I want the real deal. And I hear ya! I love pizza and make homemade pizza often with my hubs. We like to make our own crust or we also sometimes buy the organic crusts at Whole Foods to save some time. This recipe is not a permanent substitute for pizza! Rest assured all you pizza lovers. But, this is a great option to add in if you’re trying to cut down on carbs, gluten and want to add in more plant-based meals. It’s great to add into the pizza rotation. And the crazy thing is…it does satisfy that delicious pizza craving. With the melted cheese, tomatoes and sauce, you get that flavor you’re looking for. No guilt, no heavy feeling, and it’s a great option if you’re trying to lose weight because it helps you feel full and satisfied. Plus, zucchini are great in general for weight loss.

Zucchini Pizza BoatsOverhead Photo of Gluten-Free Zucchini Pizza Boats


Gluten-Free Zucchini Pizza Boats Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 3 zucchini
  • 1 large handful mixed cherry & grape tomatoes
  • organic shredded cheese
  • olive oil
  • fresh basil

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Slice zucchini vertically in half and place on parchment paper.
  4. Drizzle olive oil over top of zucchini boats. With a paper towel or spoon, spread oil evenly.
  5. Blend tomatoes in blender to make a fresh + simple tomato sauce.
  6. Scoop tomato sauce and spread onto each zucchini boat.
  7. Sprinkle on desired amount of cheese.
  8. Add sliced tomatoes.
  9. Bake at 400 degrees for approximately 12 minutes. Cooking times may vary due to oven and due to your preference. I found 12 minutes to be perfect to my liking!
  10. Add fresh chopped basil.
  11. You can eat it with a knife and fork or you can pick it up and eat it like a pizza slice! Enjoy!
xoxosignature-silver
0

Recipes
NutritionbyKara holding Lavender Chia Seed Pudding With the unofficial end to summer upon us, I feel like life gets serious again with seriously packed schedules and busy days.  Which means not a whole lot of time in the mornings which means not a whole lot of time to make a healthy breakfast.  Well, that’s where chia seed pudding comes in! You probably know by now just how much I love chia seed pudding.  I’ve already shared two different recipes on my blog: Pumpkin Spice Chia Seed Pudding and Blackberry Vanilla ChiaSeed Pudding.  And now I’m back with another one!  

This time I’ve included a layer of cherry banana smoothie along with crunchy, almond buttery toppings.  Chia seed pudding and an antioxidant-filled smoothie all rolled into one?!  Yes, please! This Lavender Chia Seed Pudding with a Cherry-Banana Smoothie on Top is so simple to make with minimal effort plus is super healthy and seriously delicious.  It’s dairy-free, vegan, gluten-free and an awesome source of clean, plant-based protein. It’s also full of flavor, fiber and healthy fats and is naturally sweetened. 

Lavender Chia Seed Pudding Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 5 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 1/2 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3-4 pinches dried culinary lavender

Super-Simple Cherry Banana Smoothie Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 3/4 cup frozen cherries
  • 1/2 frozen banana

Toppings:


Top View of Cherry-Banana Smoothie on Top of Lavender Chia Seed Pudding

Directions:

  1. Combine almond milk, chia seeds, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon and lavender into a mixing bowl and stir well.
  2. Cover the bowl with Saran Wrap.
  3. Place in the refrigerator overnight.
  4. In the morning, make your cherry banana smoothie by simply blending almond milk, cherries and banana in a high-powered blender and blend well.
  5. Take out your chia pudding from the fridge and top with cherry banana smoothie, fresh figs, almond butter, granola, coconut flakes and blackberries.
  6. Enjoy!
Lavender Chia Seed Pudding upclose photo with blackberries and figs

Do you love chia seed pudding as much as I do?!  If you make this, please let me know what you think in the comments below! xoxo
signature-silver
0

Recipes
I’m a big fan of tacos and salads, so why not bring that love together to create a simple and delicious taco salad! I chose to make this taco salad vegan to give you the perfect Meatless Monday meal, and to provide a dinner or lunch option for those of you who either are vegan or who eat meat but would like to add in more plant-based meals. This Vegan Taco Salad with Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing is not only vegan, but also gluten-free, dairy-free and has no added sugar. It’s full of clean plant-based protein, fiber, healthy fats, antioxidants and vitamins A, C & K. 

I’m really happy with how this salad turned out, and I hope you love it too!

Vegan Taco Salad Detail Photo Vegan Taco Salad Photo with cilantro

Vegan Taco Salad Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 bag organic arugula
  • ½ 15.25oz can organic corn (no sugar added)
  • ½ 15oz can organic black beans (here’s my favorite brand)
  • ½ 3.8oz can sliced black olives
  • 1 large handful sliced organic mixed tomatoes
  • 1 cubed avocado
  • 1 almond flour tortilla (these are what I use and they’re amaze! You can pick them up at Whole Foods)

Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing

ICreamy Cilantro Lime Dressingngredients:

  • 1 cup soaked cashews
  • 3½ tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lime
  • 3 tbsp pure water
  • ½ tbsp cilantro leaves
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt pinch of black pepper

Directions:

  1. Soak cashews for 24 hours or at least overnight.
  2. To make dressing, blend cashews, olive oil, juice of lime, water, cilantro, sea salt, and pepper together in high-powered blender.
  3. Using a pizza cutter, slice tortilla into small strips and bake in oven at 350 degrees for approx. 3-5 minutes. Keep an eye on it because it does get crispy fast.
  4. Add arugula to large mixing bowl.
  5. Add corn, beans, olives, tomatoes, and avocado.
  6. Top with crunchy tortilla strips and approx. 2 tbsp dressing. Mix together well.
  7. Note: You will have plenty of dressing left over, so make sure to save in a small jar with a lid, refrigerate and use for future tasty salads!
  8. Enjoy!
Vegan Taco Salad with Cilantro and Lime Vegan Taco Salad with tortilla strips  IMG_2798
xoxo signature-silver
0

Recipes, Seasonal
I’ve been obsessed with making homemade, healthier ice cream the past several summers, and now with the addition of my new ice cream maker (it’s only $59 too!), it has been even more fun creating unique ice cream flavors. Plus, these hot summer Texas days have me craving ice cream on the regular! What inspired this Cherry Rose Dairy-Free Ice Cream was a beautiful photo on the cover of Food & Wine Magazine, the June edition. It looked absolutely delicious. I adapted the recipe to be dairy-free, refined sugar free, less ingredients, plus added in the unique flavor of rose water with dried rose petals sprinkled on top. 

Cherries and Roses

If you’re not familiar with rose water, it’s a popular ingredient in Middle Eastern cooking, but we really should include it more in our recipes as it adds such a beautiful, floral flavor. Now, I must warn you to not use a lot. A little goes a long way! You really just want a delicate hint. You can find rose water at your local Mediterranean/Middle Eastern markets (I love the one in Plano for those of you who live in the Texas area. It’s called Shandiz Mediterranean Grill & Market, located at Coit & Parker.) You can also try health food stores or natural grocers, and if you don’t find it right away, ask someone to help you locate it if they carry it. Rose water is usually stocked in the “ethnic food” section. You can order online as well.

Cortas Rose Water

I also want to encourage you to still make this recipe regardless if you have an ice cream maker or not. You definitely don’t need one! I explain what to do in the directions if you don’t have one. It does make it a lot faster (and more fun!) with an ice cream maker, but it is not a necessity.

Cherry rose ice cream in glass bowls

Cherry Rose Dairy-Free Ice Cream Recipe

Makes 5 scoops

Ingredients:

  • 1 heaping cup unsweetened organic coconut cream (1 to 2 cans)
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 – 1½ tsp rose water
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ – ¾ cup fresh organic pitted & halved cherries
  • 3 tbsp shelled raw pistachios
  • Optional: sprinkle dried edible rose petals on top

Detail photo of Cherry Rose Dairy-Free Ice Cream

Directions:

  1. For the coconut cream, you want to choose an organic, full-fat unsweetened coconut milk in the can. Place the can in the fridge and leave for at least 24 hours. One can of coconut milk may provide enough cream for 1 cup. If not, use a second can.
  2. The cream and water will separate in the can, so be sure not to shake the can because you just want the cream that is on top.
  3. Open can gently and scoop out the cream into a measuring cup. Stop when you begin to see the watery liquid.
  4. Blend coconut cream, maple syrup, rose water, vanilla and cinnamon in blender. Blend well.
  5. Transfer to mixing bowl and whisk.
  6. Fold in cherry halves and pistachios.
  7. Scoop mix into ice cream maker and churn for approximately 20 minutes.
  8. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, that’s fine. You can simply place in the freezer for at least 2 to 4 hours or overnight, and it should still give you a good ice cream consistency. You may have to let it thaw a bit if you leave it in overnight.
  9. Scoop ice cream into bowl or ice cream cone, and enjoy!
  10. Fun option alert: Sprinkle dried edible rose petals on top!
Cherry Rose Ice Cream Dairy-Free Ice Cream

Cherry Rose Dairy-Free Ice Cream with flowers and cherries in bowl


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Here’s to delicious homemade cherry rose ice cream and to savoring every last moment of summer! xoxo signature-silver
0

Recipes
I just love avocados! Because of their delicious taste and many health benefits. They’re a great source of fiber, heart-healthy fats, vitamins K & C, and are packed with potassium {more than a banana!}. They really are one of the healthiest foods you can eat! I’m all about light lunches and simple dinners {and avocados!}.  That’s why I’m super excited to share these Stuffed Avocados 6 Different Ways with you. These stuffed avocados are what clean eating dreams are made of, full of whole foods and primarily plant-based. Many are great for vegan options, and then we have one for cheese lovers, one for shrimp lovers and one for those who like their eggs and {turkey} bacon! I wanted to include something for everyone and a good variety. 

They are super easy and quick to make with simple directions. My fav! They are perfect to make for a healthy lunch or dinner, a summer BBQ, or any summer soiree! And the egg and turkey bacon avocado is perfect for breakfast too. Fun random fact: avocados are also called alligator pears!

Stuffed Avocados 6 Different Ways

Baked Avocado Egg + Turkey Bacon

Crack egg and put yolk and some of the white into the hole of the avocado. Place on baking sheet and bake in oven for 10-15 minutes on 400 degrees. Keep a close eye on it so it doesn’t over cook as ovens may vary. Add sprinkles of chili flakes and a slice of organic turkey bacon. Perfect for breakfast or brunch!

Baked Avocado Egg + Turkey Bacon

Mango + Shrimp Avocado with Mint

Just add cooked wild-caught shrimp, mango cubes and some fresh mint to your avocado!

Mango + Shrimp Avocado with Mint

Beet Hummus Avocado with Kale Microgreens

First, make your beet hummus. Blend 1 BPA-free can of organic chickpeas, the juice of ½ lemon, 2 tbsp olive oil, 3-4 steamed and peeled baby beets (I get them from Trader Joe’s), and 1/8 tsp sea salt in blender and blend well. If you need a little more liquid to help blend everything together, use a little of the chickpea water in the can. Scoop hummus into avocado hole and top with kale microgreens. I just love microgreens – for being so cute and little, and for being a nutritional powerhouse full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

Beet Hummus Avocado with Kale Microgreens

Spicy Quinoa Stuffed Avocado

First, cook your quinoa. You need 1 cup quinoa and 2 cups water. Make sure to rinse your quinoa with cool water before cooking. Combine quinoa and water in a saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil. Then, reduce heat to a simmer and continue to cook covered for approx. 15 minutes or until all water has been absorbed. Remove from stove and let stand for 5 minutes covered. Scoop quinoa into a bowl and let it cool a bit. Then mix in your favorite salsa. Opt for salsa that is organic and has no sugar added. Then scoop this spicy quinoa mix into avocado hole and top with chives and blue corn tortilla chips. Here is my favorite brand that is non-gmo.

Spicy Quinoa Stuffed Avocado

Arugula + Berry Salad Avocado

Fill avocado hole with arugula, fresh blueberries and strawberries, and top with crushed raw pistachios.

Arugula + Berry Salad Avocado

Fresh Caprese Avocado

Fill avocado hole with sliced cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella ciliegine slices, a little balsamic drizzle and fresh basil.

Fresh Caprese Avocado
Enjoy!! xoxo signature-silver
1

Recipes
Yesterday marked the official first day of summer!  Yay!  In honor of this celebration, I’m so excited to share my Vegan Mint Chocolate Chip Popsicles featured on my sweet friend + mama blogger, Debora Manusama-Sinaga’s blog, Mozdeb. One of my favorite summer treats is homemade popsicles!  They are the perfect hot summer day or poolside dessert, and what makes them even better is how easy they are to make + the fact that you can actually make them healthy. For these green and minty pops, I snuck in some spinach for an extra dose of healthiness but I promise you can’t taste it!   These have just 6 ingredients, all of which, of course, are healthy and natural.  Including my favorite vegan chocolate chips! 

Vegan Mint Chocolate Chip Popsicle photo

If you’re a mama, these are also great for the kids!  You’ll see at the end of the video we recorded on how to make these pops, it is definitely kid-approved:) Debora also asked me some great interview questions like what got me into studying nutrition, what my diet looks like, what I tell people who want to eat healthy but don’t know where to start and what my 3 favorite cheat meals are.   I hope you’re encouraged by my answers! Head over to Mozdeb to check out the recipe & my interview! Here’s the video we recorded on how to make these Vegan Mint Chocolate Chip Popsicles.  Enjoy and let me know if you make these and what you think! https://youtu.be/YnstUp0xutE Cheers to summer!
xoxo signature-silver
0

Recipes
St. Patrick's Day Pancakes Don’t forget to wear your green and don’t forget to eat your greens too!;)  Sharing a fun, simple and, of course, green recipe for St. Patrick’s Day! Easy-to-make healthy St. Patrick’s Day Pancakes with just 5 ingredients plus they are gluten-free and grain-free.  And instead of using food coloring, I just added in spinach for that pretty green color. Not only is the spinach great for the coloring, it’s also the perfect way to sneak in more fiber, vitamins and antioxidants. But, no worries, you can’t taste the spinach at all!  These pancakes are also a sweet way for kids to get in their greens too. Make these for breakfast or even dinner {I’m always a fan of breakfast for dinner!} to celebrate St. Patty’s Day or these are great to make whenever you have a pancake craving!  keep reading
3

Recipes
Persimmon Pineapple Smoothie Dear Persimmon, oh how I love you. I tasted my first persimmon about two years ago. Wish I had sooner! I fell in love with the taste, the golden orange color, and the beautiful star shape it makes when sliced. They’re in season from October – February BUT they are still in the markets as I type. So, if you want to try this Persimmon Pineapple Smoothie or experiment with a persimmon on avocado toast;) {it’s so good!} you must run out asap before they are all gone.  keep reading
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