Lemon Raspberry Swirl Bars (Vegan & GF)

IMG_1611 (1)Lemon bars were my favorite. That is until I decided to take it up a notch and add my favorite chia raspberry jam to the equation!

These bars are the perfect balance between creamy and tangy, and make for a great afternoon snack or after dinner dessert. Or, you could just eat them for breakfast if you can’t wait!

Lemon Raspberry Swirl Bars:

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INGREDIENTS:

CRUST

  • 1/3 cup dates, pitted
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 2 1/2 cups dessicated unsweetened coconut

FILLING

  • 2 cups cashews
  • 1-2  cups full fat coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • Lemon zest from 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (1-2 lemons)
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric (for color)

METHOD

  1. Make your chia seed jam
  2. Soak your cashews in water for 3-4 hours.
  3. In a food processor, chop the crust ingredients until it makes a dough like consistency
  4. In a 8×8 pan lined with parchment paper, press the crust into the bottom in an even layer. Make sure to pack the crust tightly or it will fall apart and that would be tragic.
  5. In a food processor or blender add drained cashews, lemon juice, coconut oil, coconut milk, turmeric, maple syrup, and lemon zest. Blend until nice and creamy. Add more coconut milk as needed. Make sure there are no cashew chunks left.
  6. Pour the lemon mixture onto the crust.
  7. With a spoon, place around 9 evenly spaced dollops of jam on the mixture.
  8. Swirl the mixture with a butter knife.IMG_1987
  9. Place the bars  in the freezer for at least one hour.
  10. Cut into bars.
  11. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.

Enjoy!

xxxx

Health Coach Jenna

Simple and Delicious Overnight Oats

Photo by James Ransom

I love oatmeal. Not only is it quick and easy to make, but it is packed with fiber and protein, and it always keeps me satisfied until my next meal. A BIG benefit of this recipe, is that soaking the oats overnight reduces the phytates present in oatmeal that can lead to mineral loss, allergies, and irritiation of the intestinal tract.  (To learn more about phytates, you can read this post on oatmeal and phytic acid.)

But don’t let phytates scare you from eating oatmeal! As I see it, the benefits of this delcious grain far outweigh the phytates, and by simply soaking your oats before you eat them, there is really nothing to worry about!

Prep time:
5 minutes

Cooking time:
0 minutes

Yields:
1 person

Ingredients:
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup of any milk of your choice or water
A natural sweetener of your choice (honey, maple syrup,  stevia,cinnamon, vanilla extract)
Optional: nuts, dried fruit, shredded coconut, seeds (chia, flax, sunflower, pumpkin), fruit, or even nut butter.

Directions:

Photo by James Ransom

1. The only ratio you need to remember is 1:1. You’ll soak 1 part rolled oats with 1 part liquid overnight. Use less liquid if you want thicker oatmeal, more if you like it runny. You can use water or any type of milk — almond milk, soy milk, coconut milk — and feel free to add a splash of cream, half and half, or even orange juice.

Photo by James Ransom

2. Sweeten and flavor the oatmeal with whatever appeals to you: honey, agave, jam, maple syrup, cinnamon, vanilla extract, citrus zest … the list goes on. Then get creative: Add nuts, dried fruit, shredded coconut, seeds (chia, flax, sunflower, pumpkin), fruit, or even nut butter.

3. Give it a stir, pack it into a jar, then let the jar sit overnight in the refrigerator.

4. In the morning, top with fresh ingredients — fruits, granola, honey, a dollop of peanut butter — or simply take the whole jar for the road.

All photos by James Ransom. Recipe from Food52.com

Raw Food Diets Dangerous for Children?

The New York Times published an article this week about the dangers of putting children on a raw food diet.

Here are some highlights:

“Many doctors are cautioning against the trend. A child’s digestive system may not be able “to pull the nutrients out of raw foods as effectively as an adult’s,” said Dr. Benjamin Kligler, a family practitioner with the Center for Health and Healing in Manhattan.

Over the last year, Dr. TJ Gold, a pediatrician in Park Slope, Brooklyn, with a strong focus on nutrition, has seen about five families who are feeding their children, including toddlers, raw diets. Some of the children were severely anemic, she said, and the parents were supplementing the diets with vitamin B12.

“If you have to supplement something for children in order to do it, is that really the right diet for them?” Dr. Gold said.”

I’m a firm believer in bio-individuality, and therefore don’t think it is necessarily the best decision to impose a special diet on children. Just because you are a vegan/vegetarian/raw foodist doesn’t mean your child has to be.

I try to eat at least 51% of my foods raw, and don’t eat meat. But when I have kids will I make my kiddos do the same? NO. I will encourage them to listen to their bodies and eat what they crave (as long as it is not refined sugar, GMO, factory farmed meat, or processed junk that is ).

Are you a parent? What is your opinion on diets and children? I would love to hear from you.