5 Foods That DESTROY Your Hormones

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I’m a firm believer that with the right diet and lifestyle, any hormonal condition can be put into remission, and I’m living proof!

I was born with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), but with the right diet and lifestyle changes its been in remission for 2 years now! Isn’t the power of food as medicine incredible?!

I’m usually a fan of using positives instead of negatives, but I feel like these 5 foods are so detrimental to your health that they really need to be put on your “no-no” list ASAP if you are currently experiencing PCOS, Endometriosis, adrenal issues, thyroid problems, or painful and irregular periods.

5 Foods To Ditch For Hormonal Health:

1. Gluten

Many people have a gluten sensitivity. And if they don’t, I still don’t think it is the best food for hormonal balance. Gluten contains inflammatory proteins that cause intestinal permeability, which causes food particles to enter into your blood stream, causing chronic inflammation. This leads to weight gain, mood disorders, painful periods, and can lead to auto-immune disorders.

Alternative-whole grains such as rice, quinoa, buckwheat, and sweet potatoes. If you decide to eat gluten, then opt for spelt or sourdough bread, or Ezekiel sprouted grain bread.

2. Sugar

I feel like I’m a broken record with this one, but it’s the truth. You just can’t obtain balanced hormones if you are eating sugar. That’s because stabilizing your blood sugar is the #1 thing you must do for balanced hormones. And if you eat lots of sugar then your blood sugar levels will most likely resemble that of a roller coaster. Insulin is a hormone, and if you have too much, then it raises your cortisol, which throws everything else out of whack.

And for women with PCOS, this is a biggie, because eating too much sugar causes insulin resistance, and too much insulin causes ovaries to make excess testosterone.

3. Most Dairy

Most cow dairy contains A1 casein which is extremely inflammatory to humans. And all cow dairy contains lactose, which most of us can’t even break down anyways. This leads to leaky gut, digestive issues like gas, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation.

If you must have dairy then make it from organic Jersey or Guernsey cows that contain A2 casein, which is not as inflammatory.

Alternative: The only exception to dairy is grass-fed butter or ghee, and cheese from goats, sheep or buffalo. Goat, sheep and buffalo products are lactose free, so they are easy on your digestion. Another great alternative to cow’s milk is camel’s milk. I have not tried it yet, but I hear good things.

4. Alcohol

Sorry ladies. We should really limit our alcohol intake to 4 drinks a week. This is due to the fact that alcohol is high in sugar so it increase insulin, but it also depletes an important anti-inflammation molecule called glutathione. We need glutathione to detox, and if your detox pathways are not being supported then your body can’t flush out excess hormones, namely estrogen.  Alcohol also damages gut bacteria.

Alternatives: If you drink, stick to dry wines and beer, and take activated charcoal and vitamin C with each drink.

5. Vegetable oils

Vegetable oils are cheap and have long shelf lives, which is why you will find them in most restaurants. Vegetable oil in my opinion is the worst thing you can put in your body, and when you combine it with sugar it is like an inflammatory bomb. The omega 6’s in vegetable oils not only cause inflammation all over the body, but they create inflammatory prostaglandins, which you DON’T WANT.  Prostaglandins are hormone like substances that are responsible for your period cramps. So vegetable oils, as well as any oxidized fat, will promote painful periods.

Alternative: Omega 3’s promote anti-inflammatory prostaglandins. So opt for omega 3 rich oils like coconut, avocado, flax, olive, and grass-fed butter and ghee instead.

If you want to heal, you can’t cut corners. You must let these 5 foods go.  Of course, once you are healed, you can reintroduce some in moderation as life is all about balance. But for the most part you should opt for the food alternatives I recommended.

Okay folks! I hope you find this helpful. Also, if you haven’t already, join me on my Hormone Community Facebook page. This is a group for women on their healing journey to support one another and share their success. You’ll also catch me there  posting with articles, helpful insights and of course, live videos!

With Gratitude,
Health Coach Jenna

 

Tart Cherry and Avocado Smoothie Bowl

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🍒 TART CHERRY AND AVOCADO SMOOTHIE BOWL 🍒

Good morning, lovelies! This high-fat, moderate protein smoothie bowl will make your hormones sing and keep your blood sugar stable until your next meal. Nourishing, healthy, yet tasty food- that’s what I’m all about!

 RECIPE :

  •  1/2 cup organic tart cherry juice ( one of nature’s best anti- inflammatories)
  •  1/4 avocado
  •  1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  •  2 cups spinach (if it’s frozen you won’t even taste it!)
  • 1/2 cup So Delicious unsweetened coconut yogurt or full fat coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons ground flaxseed
  •  1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 1 scoop Bulletproof collagen vanilla or half scoop Vega Sport vanilla protein
  •  dash of cinnamon
  • dash of sea salt

Method:

Blend, enjoy and garnish with Lily’s chocolate chips! This should keep you satisfied for 3-5 hours! For real!

Why a Juice Cleanse is Not the Answer

The new year is a great time because it inspires so many people to get healthy. Many of you might decide to kick off the new year with a juice cleanse. To be honest I’m not a big fan of juice cleanses as they’re very high in sugar. A few days might serve you but anything longer then that might not be the best option in supporting your weight loss and health goals.

I have clients who come to me wanting to try out different fad diets or expensive juice cleanses in the new year, and to be honest, I’m just not too thrilled about these at all. I like to pick a food plan based on the individual and their specific needs.

So what makes a successful new year health plan? One with the goal of DETOX.

But detoxing doesn’t just happen by doing a seven-day juice cleanse once a year. Sorry to let you down!

Why we have to detox:

If we aren’t properly detoxing on a daily basis by having 1-3 bowel movements a day (ideally at least 2), then excess estrogen builds up in the body creating a hormonal imbalance that leads to weight gain, painful periods, and if untreated manifests into even bigger health issues. Detoxing is important because it allows the body to cleanse of toxic metals or chemicals we are exposed to from our food, toiletries, plastic containers, etc. These metals and chemicals are stored in our fat, which is why losing extra fat is part of the process.

When it all boils down, the less fat you have, the fewer toxins.

But as I said earlier, following a juice cleanse once a year for one week is not going to do the trick. This is because there are two different detox pathways which need to be supported in order to cleanse. And a juice cleanse is only supporting one of them.

The Two Detox Phases:

Phase One:

In phase one, oxygen and enzymes oxidize toxins. Over 100 enzymes are involved, and the results are STILL toxic until flushed out by Phase Two of the detox phase.

This means that if you are only doing a juice cleanse, then all of those toxins are now even more toxic, and even worse, still hanging out in your body doing damage!

This is why it’s important to follow a plan that also supports Phase Two.

Phase Two:

The damaging chemicals from Phase One are now combined with sulfur, amino acids, plus organic acids to be excreted as bile. We get these elements (fiber being one of the key ingredients) from eating whole foods.

So what would an example of a Phase One and Two Detox Look like?

Day 1-3 PHASE ONE: If you are doing a juice cleanse, keep it short. I recommend 3 days max. Or even better yet, just do a simple fast that incorporates Bulletproof coffee , water and apple cider vinegar, and/or bone broth for the first 3 days. You can still have full-fat coconut milk, coconut oil, grass-fed butter or ghee in your tea or coffee. This will help keep you full.

Days 4-10 PHASE TWO: After your days of fasting, you will then begin to eat gentle, whole foods. Think plenty of vegetables, healthy fats, moderate protein, and lots of water. Nothing from a package, no sugar, and absolutely no alcohol or pain medicine (headaches are common during detoxes, but you just have to be strong). Notice I didn’t say you have to cut out caffeine! I’m a big fan of coffee, matcha, and green tea (if it’s organic and high quality) as they are full of polyphenols and antioxidants. But if you wish to cut out the caffeine then please do so! But if you are suffering from HPA Axis Dysfunction, it’s best to cut out caffeine entirely.

Methods to get better results from your detox:

1. Supplement with Glutathione or NAC.

2. Drink dandelion root tea (drink this everyday for 14 days) This will support your liver.

3. Take chlorella

4. Take epsom salt baths and/or sit in an infrared sauna to help draw out toxins.

5. Take one tablespoon of grass fed ghee or coconut oil in the morning, and two tablespoons of high quality olive oil before going to bed. This will help carry toxins out of the body.

And if you are looking for a cleanse program that is already planned out,  with all the products mailed to your home, and includes whole foods and my support, then I encourage you to sign up for my 20-Day Hormone Reboot Detox, or 40-Day Ultimate Nutrition Program.

xxxxx

Health Coach Jenna

Mini-Thin Mint Pies

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I was a girl scout growing up (any Girl Scouts in the house holla!) and I used to peddle cookies every year like all the others. These days, I wouldn’t dare eat those things as they contain harmful ingredients such as food dyes, high fructose corn syrup, and emulsifiers.

My favorite cookie was by far the Thin Mint (best frozen, am I right?!). That’s why I’ve created these Mini-Thin Mint Pies, which are melt in your mouth good.

And better yet, they are full of healthy fats to support your hormones.

Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 2 1/2 cups desiccated unsweetened coconut
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/3 cup chopped dates

Filling:

  • 3/4 cup cacao
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup of your preferred nut butter of choice. Make sure it’s creamy and unsweetened.
  • 7 drops of peppermint oil
  • Pinch of sea salt (optional)

Method:

  1. Take all of the crust ingredients and put them in a food processor and pulse until it starts sticking together.
  2. Line a cupcake pan with and then pack the crust into them nice and tight. Make sure to pack it hard because if you don’t the crust will fall apart and that would be tragic.
  3.  Put the cupcake tin in the freezer.
  4.  Now for the thin mint filling. If you live in a place with a cold climate melt the coconut oil first in a saucepan over low heat (If you live in a climate where your coconut oil is liquid then skip this step). I like to use a double broiler so the chocolate mixture does not come in direct contact with the heat. If you do not have one, just put the mixture in a bowl and set on top of the saucepan. Use what ya got, right?
  5. As soon as the coconut oil has melted mix in the maple syrup.
  6. Now mix in the nut butter.
  7. Next, turn off the heat and immediately mix in the cacao until smooth, then add your vanilla, and peppermint oil.
  8. After that is all smooth and blended, sprinkle in your sea salt.
  9. Next, take your cupcake tray out of the freezer and pour the chocolate mixture into each one to 3/4 full.
  10. Place in the freezer and let harden for an hour.
  11. Transfer to the fridge if you live in a cold climate, or keep in the freezer if you live in a hot climate.

Enjoy!

Health Coach Jenna

No- Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Clusters

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These peanut butter chocolate clusters rock my world. They’re just so good, and way too easy to make. Chances are you have all the ingredients (there are only seven) sitting in your pantry already.  So next time you have a sweet tooth, instead of buying some store bought junk, try these instead!

No-Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Clusters:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup natural, no sugar added peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 5 tablespoons cacao
  • 2 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • pinch of salt
  • baking paper

Method:

  1. Take your PB, maple syrup and coconut oil and put in saucepan over low heat. Stir until nice and smooth.
  2. Add your vanilla and cacao to the mixture.
  3. Take off heat and add the oats and salt.
  4. Scoop mixture with a spoon and place onto a tray lined with baking paper in round balls (they look like little blobs but when they cool off they actually look really pretty!)
  5. Let harden in the freezer for a few hours and then enjoy!
  6. Best if stored in the fridge afterwards.

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xxxxx

Health Coach Jenna

Berry-licious Smoothie Bowl

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If you’re looking for something chock full of antioxidants and healthy fats for breakfast (and I really hope you are!) then this berry-licious smoothie bowl is just for you!

This smoothie gives you all the healthy fats , fiber, and antioxidants you need for happy, healthy hormones.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 a frozen banana
  • 2 tbs ground flax seeds
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • pinch of pink himalayan salt
  • 1 scoop Vanilla protein powder (I use Vega Sport Vanilla)
  • 1 tbs of your favorite nut butter
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • handful of goji berries
  • handful of walnuts
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats

Method:

Blend and top with goji berries, oats, and walnuts, or whatever topping you fancy!

Enjoy!

xxxxx

Health Coach Jenna

Why You Should Stop Calorie Counting Today

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Have you ever followed a calorie restricting diet? I know I have, and chances are you have been through the grueling experience as well.

And even though the pounds fell off quickly, think about what happened when you got off the diet – did the pounds stay off for long?

They didn’t, did they?

There’s nothing more frustrating than getting great results after depriving yourself of food, only to have all of your hard work destroyed as soon as you start increasing your calories again.  This is why calorie restricting diets are a waste of your precious time, darling. Eating like this will only cause your weight to fluctuate (that’s why they call it “yo-yo dietiting”) and the practice is detrimental to your hormones, which means your mental and physical health will suffer immensely.

Yo-yo dieting is not a sustainable practice, and does not promote a balanced life. It’s pretty stinking miserable and unnecessary.

What’s wrong with calorie counting:

The “eat less move more” movement doesn’t work. It’s complete crap. 💩 The idea behind this theory that has been peddled in schools and by doctors across the country is that consuming fewer calories than are used will lead to lasting weight loss.

There are sooooooo many things wrong with this!

1. Not all calories are created equally. Some foods induce high blood sugar levels, other promote balanced levels. Think about the difference between a can of coke and two cups of broccoli which have roughly the same amount of calories. Should those really be put in the same category?

2. Reducing calories will slow down your metabolism, so when you quit that diet you’re on you’re going to gain it all back, even if you are only increasing your caloric intake minimally. Think about it- your body is pretty clever. It will adapt to homeostasis. If you maintain a reduced calorie diet your metabolism will quickly adapt by slowing down to match the reduced intake. So when you get off the diet, even just a little- guess what will happen? Yup, you’ll gain it back.

TRUTH —-> HIGH INSULIN BLOCKS FAT BURNING.

What your body needs to burn fat are these two things:

1.You must burn through most of your stored glycogen.

2. Your insulin levels must drop low enough to release fat stores.

And this doesn’t happen through caloric reduction. This happens by eating real, whole foods that contain healthy fats, moderate protein, and low or no carbs (the amount for each person is determined by individual tolerance, blood sugar levels, hormone levels, and specific needs, women for example do better with some carbs in their diet).

So ditch the diets, ditch the calorie restriction, and focus on eating real, unprocessed foods. Don’t worry about calories! Focus on quality!

So what are two things you can start doing today?

1. Cut out the C.R.A.P. (carbonated beverages, refined sugars, artificial sweeteners and ingredients, and processed foods.

2. Focus on getting good quality healthy fats with each meal. Remember, cholesterol is responsible for producing all of your sex hormones, so without a diet rich in healthy fats, your hormones will suffer. You must nourish your hormones, because when you have balanced hormones your body will be able to maintain a healthy weight.

Once you implement a nutrient dense and plant based lifestyle of real, whole foods like this 40-Day Transformation from Purium, (use code “HEALTHIERNOTIONS” for $100 off) then you will discover you maintain a steady and healthy weight without the need for guilt-inducing diets.

Remember, diet is a greek word that means “way of life”.

Proud to be diet-free,

Health Coach Jenna

The 5 Supplements You Need to Be Taking Daily

Dietary Supplements Pills Nutrient AdditivesEveryone has a different opinion about supplements. People tend to go one of two ways: conservative or liberal. Conservatives think that we can get all the nutrients we need from our diet, and liberals think that supplements can make up for a bad diet.

In regards to supplements, I encourage you to be a moderate.

While I’m a big advocate of getting nutrients from your food, sometimes it just isn’t possible due to two main factors.

1. Our soil has gone downhill

The quality of modern day soil has changed – it is now extremely depleted due to industrial farming. As a result, many of our fruits and vegetables are not as nutrient dense as they were when grandma and grandpa were eating them. This also means the animals you are eating are not as nutrient rich, as the grain or grass they are eating is also affected by industrial farming and depleted soils.

Statistics compiled by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and World Health Organization (WHO) have recorded a drop in nutrient density in our food supply within the last fifty years. This loss of nutrients is so great that in our modern world, it is imperative to supplement your diet to achieve optimum health.

2. It’s a busy world.

In our busy lives, can we really be 100% sure that we are eating all of our vitamins, minerals, and probiotics daily? I know I can’t.

Even with a perfect diet of real, whole foods, it is still almost impossible to get all the nutrients you need in today’s toxic and stress-filled world.

Yes, our ancestors were able to get all of their nutrients from their food, but they received far greater amounts of micro-nutrients in every mouthful of food they ate, than is found in the food we consume today.

I always try my best to get as many of the nutrients I need from my food, and I encourage you to do the same. But this is not always possible; that’s why I like to look at supplements as insurance that I am always covered.

With that said, here are the five crucial supplements and vitamins that I recommend everyone take daily:

1. Magnesium

Magnesium is a cofactor in over three hundred reactions in the body, and is necessary for temperature regulations, hormonal balance, detoxification in the liver, formation of bones and teeth, and transmission of nerve pulses. However, it’s estimated that around 80% of people are deficient in this crucial mineral! If you are deficient in magnesium, symptoms include anxiety, constipation, an inability to sleep, tension, muscle cramps, fatigue, and much more.

Better yet, did you know that magnesium is the best treatment for PMS?! In fact, it removes symptoms so dramatically that some scientists believe that magnesium deficiency is the cause of PMS. (1)

Magnesium boosts progesterone by improving the healthy of your corpus luteum. It also regulates cortisol and reduces inflammation.

For women (and men!) magnesium is crucial.

Dose- 400-500mg

Forms:  Glycinate is the best overall because it is the most absorbable, and Citrate works well for those prone to constipation. You can also mix and match.

Time Taken: Bedtime

Recommended brand: Pure Encapsulations Glycinate or Citrate.

2.Vitamin D + K2

About 80% of the population is deficient in Vitamin D, due to a shift from farming to office jobs, combined with a lack of sun in many places during the winter. Even if you live in a place with plenty of sunshine, you should be taking Vitamin D. Vitamin D is crucial for hormonal and metabolic function, and is something you don’t want to be deficient in.

When choosing your Vitamin D, make sure to buy D3. Most doctors prescribe D2 but it is not as effective. You want to take at least 5,000 IU – 10,000 IU a day (depending on how deficient you are) for 6 months. After this, you can lower your dose to 2,000 IU a day for monthly maintenance.

K2 is a  is a fat soluble vitamin involved in calcium metabolism.  Excess calcium is deposited in arteries, leading to calcification and decreased vascular function.  This is why vitamin K2 could play a role in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Bonus is that K2 has been found to reduce bone loss.

Dose: D3 – 5,000-10,000 i.u’s daily

K2- 2,000 mcg daily

Forms: D3 combined with K2, or you can take D3 and K2 in separate pills

Time Taken: Morning. D3 and K2 should always be taken together.

Recommended brand:  Metagenics K2 with D3, or Metagenics D3 and LifeExtension K2

3. Methyl B12 and Methyl Folate

If you are a vegan or vegetarian I urge you to take vitamin B12 daily.  If you are an omnivore, I still recommend you take this, as most people are deficient in B12. B12 can protect against dementia, increase immune function, maintain nerves, and regenerate cells. It’s necessary for maintaining methylation reactions that repair DNA and prevent cancer.

Dose: 800 mcg Folate, and 500 mcg B12 (never take folic acid, that stuff is junk!)

Forms: Capsule or lozenge

Time taken: Daily with food

Brand: Metagenics Intrinsi B12/Folate

4. High Grade Probiotic

Your gut is responsible for much more than just digesting your lunch. Your gut, and the 100 trillion bacteria that call it home, are responsible for your overall mental and physical wellbeing. Hippocrates said 2,000 years ago that “all disease begins in the gut”, and modern scientists are just now realizing how true this statement is.

For optimum health you should maintain an 85-to-15 percent ratio of good bacteria to bad. Once the bad bacteria rises above 15 percent, the immune system begins to slow down and sets off a chain reaction that promotes disease, digestion problems, and interferes with nutrient absorption.

Eating processed foods, plus the overuse of antibiotics, are the two biggest culprits for the poor gut health that is sweeping developed nations today.

To keep your gut healthy and thriving with healthy bacteria, you should take a high-grade probiotic daily, with at least 25 billion living organisms. Opt for even higher if you can. When purchasing your probiotic remember they are not regulated by the FDA, so you must make sure to buy a brand that is trusted.

Dose: Minimum 25 billion organisms per serving.

Form: Capsule or powder

Time Taken: At least 30 minutes before or after a meal. Do not take within 30 minutes of a hot beverage as the heat will kill the organisms.

Recommended brand: Green Vibrance or Metagenics UltraFlora Spectrum

In addition to taking a daily probiotic, you should also aim to eat two to three servings of fermented foods a day.

Examples of fermented foods are:

  • Kimchi
  • Yogurt (unsweetened and organic)
  • Kombucha
  • Kefir – this is a drinkable like yogurt originating from Turkey. You can find it in most grocery stores these days, or you can make your own by ordering a kefir starter kit online. Kefir makes a perfect addition to smoothies.
  • Water kefir
  • Sauerkraut
  • Miso
  • Tempeh

Also, don’t forget your prebiotics. Prebiotic foods help feed your good bacteria. You should aim to eat as many prebiotic foods as you can.

Examples of prebiotic rich foods are :

  • Raw chicory root
  • Raw garlic
  • Under-ripe bananas
  • Raw dandelion greens
  • Raw and cooked onions
  • Raw Jerusalem artichokes
  • Raw leeks
  • Raw asparagus

5. Fish Oil (or Algal Oil for vegans)-

In order to keep your  omega 3 to omega 6 levels ideal (you want a 1:1 ratio) and to promote optimum cardiovascular health, hormonal health, and to prevent disease, as well as promote a healthy and happy mind, fish oil is crucial. It also lowers cholesterol, improves insulin sensitivity, and prevents blood clots. It’s natures best anti-inflammatory, and helps balance hormones.

You should take 1,000-2,000 mg. a day, and the EPA to DHA ratio should be 300/200mg.

Dose: 1,000-2,000 mg

Forms: Capsule or liquid

Time taken: daily with food

Recommended brand: OmegaGenics EPA-DHA

Bonus:

Multivitamin-

This is your ultimate insurance ticket. It is important you are getting a high quality one. I personally take Vibrant Health’s Green Vibrance, as it also includes 25 billion probiotics, meaning I don’t have to hassle with taking an additional probiotic. And please don’t assume that because you are taking a multivitamin you don’t have to take the other supplements I’ve listed above.  You see, multivitamins are great in that they provide an array of vitamins, but most of them do not have 100% of your daily requirement of D3, magnesium, and B12.

Dose: 1 tablet or 1 packet

Forms: Capsule or powder

Time taken: daily with food

Brand: Pure Encapsulations O.N.E. or Metagenics Wellness Essentials

Think of these supplements as part of your diet, and buy the best quality ones you can. Remember, you get what you pay for; cheap supplements are usually poorly absorbed by the body, and the dosages are not always as high as they claim. They are also often filled with additives and coloring, and just result in expensive urine!

When buying your supplements, I encourage you to seek guidance from a health care practitioner to select the products that are right for you. While these are the general supplements I recommend everyone take, some people will need further supplementation.

With Gratitude,

Health Coach Jenna

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Sources:

  1. Period Repair Manual by Dr. Laura Briden

The Fudgiest Grain-free Brownies

FullSizeRender (38)I’ve made many brownies in my life. I used to make them from the box growing up, but these days, I’m a bit more aware of what I eat. The frankeningredients in those Betty Crocker or Duncan brownies are pretty freaking scary.

My favorite type of brownie is one that is super fudgey.

You know what I’m talking about.

But over the past few years, I’ve experimented with different gluten-free recipes and haven’t quite found what I was searching for. Some were to dry, some too sweet, and others good but not the BEST. SO I’ve started adapting the recipes and experimenting with new ingredients.

Well, the work paid off (and in all honesty, taste testing wasn’t too bad of a job) as I’ve finally found it.

The fudgiest most decadent brownie yet.

Even better, it has absolutely no grains , so it is gluten-free. And it’s pretty low glycemic as far as brownies go. Plus, I use raw cacao, so it’s full of antioxidants and fiber.

And can you guess the secret ingredient? If you guessed buckwheat, then you are right!

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The Fudgiest Grain-free Brownies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup  buckwheat flour
  • 3/4 cup cocao powder, sifted if lumpy
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons  unsalted butter (grass-fed please!)or coconut oil melted and cooled slightly (I’ve only made these with butter, but coconut oil would work for those who desire a dairy free recipe)
  • 1  cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips (I use Lily’s Sugar Free because they’re amazing)  + an additional 1/4 cup to sprinkle on top

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 °F (175 °C) and line an 8″×8″ (20cmx20cm) pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Set aside.FullSizeRender (36)
  3. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the melted butter or coconut oil, coconut sugar, and vanilla extract. Once combined, add the eggs one at a time, and stir just until combined.
  4. Add the dry mixture to the wet and stir just until no streaks of dry flour remain. Do not overmix.
  5. Fold in 3/4 cup chocolate chips.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips on top.FullSizeRender (35)
  7. Bake for 14-16 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center will come out wet. A toothpick inserted into the sides will come out with some moist crumbs on it, but not totally raw batter. The brownies will continue to bake as they sit in the pan. I’ve made these in an electric oven and a gas oven. I found the gas oven bakes them faster, so they only needed 14 minutes. In the electric they might need a few more. My advice is to take out at minute 14 and test, and put them back in for 2 more minutes if needed. These continue to cook quite a lot after taken outFullSizeRender (37)
  8. Let cool completely and then cover and store at room temperature for up to 4 days. If you refrigerate them they get a fudgier texture.
  9. Serve with coconut ice cream ( Nada Moo is pretty good!) if you wanna go all out 😉

Enjoy!

Health Coach Jenna

 

Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake with a Peanut Buttery Crust

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Dreams do come true guys! I’m so stoked with the way this cheesecake turned out. You can make them in a round spring form pan and spread the crust out thinly giving it more of a dessert vibe, or you can put in a square 8×8 pan like the ones in the picture, making more of a snack bar creation. These are super rich and filling, and can go either way. Either a smaller portion for dessert if you use the round spring form pan, or a bit more chunky for a mid-afternoon power snack  or breakfast if you use the square pan. These guys are full of healthy fats and protein, so they will keep your brain and body fueled.

I bet the kids would love em’ for brekkie. It’s a great way to send em’ off to school with brain power.

Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake: 

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Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 2 cups gluten-free oats (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 2 cups pitted medjool dates
  • ½ cup peanut butter (or your nut butter of choice)
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon

Filling:

  • 2 cups soaked cashews (about 4-5 hours in warm water)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup of melted dark chocolate chips (I used Lily’s sugar free)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup raw cacao

Instructions:

1. Put all the crust ingredients in a food processor, and pulse together until it sticks together and has a dough like consistency.

2. Line an 8×8 baking pan with baking paper.

3. Pack the crust mixture into the pan TIGHTLY. If you don’t pack it tight enough the dough will not hold together entirely.

4. Clean out your food processor.

5. Put filling ingredients into the food processor and pulse until smooth and creamy. If it is too chunky slowly pour in additional coconut milk until it has a creamy texture.

6. Pour the filling over the crust and spread evenly.

7. Place in freezer for a few hours to harden. It can then be stored in the freezer for up to 2 weeks, or in the fridge for 4-5 days.

Enjoy!

Health Coach Jenna