PALEO VEGAN CINNAMON BANANA PUDDING

A creamy paleo, vegan, gluten free and dairy free pudding, thickened with chia seeds which gives it the texture of tapioca banana pudding!

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With The Oscars on last night, I wanted a special treat to ‘indulge’ in while watching, without feeling like I’m undoing all of the slimming effects of the yoga I’ve been practicing. However, it has been an arctic, chilly, snowy winter in Ohio, and it takes a lot to get me to do anything but sleep and work when it feels like -15 degrees outside. Getting me out of my warm car to go into the grocery only happens when eating almonds and frozen blueberries is the only option for dinner, so the ingredients on hand last night were a tad limited. I ALWAYS have bananas, avocados, sweet potatoes and coconut milk in the house; making sweet potatoes into a dessert might be challenge, and since I didn’t have chocolate on hand to make Paleo Vegan Chocolate Pudding with the avocados I had, I decided to experiment with the bananas! I threw this cinnamon banana pudding together and I have to say, I love how it turned out!

*Makes two servings

Ingredients:

2 ripe bananas (you don’t want any green on these or you won’t get that sweet, banana pudding taste, yellow with some spots is best)
1 Tbsp honey
1 cup coconut milk
2 Tbsp chia seeds
2 tsp ground cinnamon

Place bananas, honey, coconut milk, and cinnamon in a blender, blend until smooth. Stir in the chia seeds, cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes. (Optional: Serve topped with whipped, full fat coconut milk) Enjoy!

THE STAY AT WORK HOUSEWIFE’S ADVENTURES IN YOGA

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Confession time: I hate physical activity.  I especially hate running, in fact I was “on my period” every time we had to do the 15 minute mile in high school gym, and no one ever caught on.  I will go as far to say that if you ever see me running, call the police and start running too, because something is endangering my life.  In the past I would use my low energy levels, aches and pains, and digestive issues as an excuse not to exercise, but now that I’m healthy and energized from following the Paleo diet, I have no excuses.  Well, I mean, I could use working 50+ hours a week as an “I don’t have time” excuse (ahem, and I have been using it for the past 4 months…) but honestly, my lack of physical activity is making me feel like a fraud.  I encourage all of you to live your “best life” when a good chunk of my puzzle is missing, because I’m incredibly inactive.  I feel like the biggest excuse is the fact that I have never struggled with my weight, I am so lucky to have a naturally petite figure and a high metabolism, so I’ve never seen the need to exercise.  To me, exercising is something someone does to lose weight, in fact, when I tell other people that I do not exercise at all, they look at me and say “Well, it doesn’t really look like you need to”.  A fairy tale I have believed until recently.  You can be thin but still have the same health problems as an overweight person: diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and high blood sugar.  Luckily I have none of those problems yet, but since there is a family history of high cholesterol and heart disease, I’m not bulletproof.

So begins the adventure of becoming someone who exercises.  I chose yoga for three reasons: I think it’ll help how tense I always am, I’m a little ball of stress and I hold myself tight, hopefully this loosens me up; it’s the furthest thing from running I can think of; I had a Groupon, haha.

Today was supposed to be my first class, but unfortunately Ohio weather was full of ‘squalls’, or lovely bursts of visibility reducing snow, so I postponed it until next week.  However, I didn’t want today to be a complete waste, so I decided to get a jump start and did a little yoga in my breakfast nook! I used the first video of the series 30 Days of Yoga with Adriene on YouTube, and I have to say I kinda suck at yoga, haha! I was slow, awkward, shaky and I had a horrible time breathing. I actually think my biggest challenge is going to be breathing, I have a tendency to hold my breath and a difficult time breathing deeply, so we’ll see how that goes! I definitely felt looser afterwards but I’m a little nervous for when I actually start classes because I couldn’t hold some of the poses as long as she did in the video.

Oh well I guess we’ll see once I start! I’ll keep you guys updated on my adventures in yoga and hope you’ll follow along and support me as I go!

RAW PALEO SEA SALT FIG AND PISTACHIO ENERGY BITES

Raw, vegan and paleo sea salt, fig and pistachio energy bites are the perfect no bake protein snack on the go!

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I’ll admit, the healthy lifestyle I’ve embraced recently isn’t incredibly on the go friendly.  I’m constantly looking for a snack I can grab quickly on my way out the door, that’s equally as quick and easy to eat.  We’re talking no heating up, mixing or anything, just open a package and it’s ready to eat.  It’s a tall order but one that is imperative to fill, on a busy day at the salon snacks (and coffee) are what keep me going, and chances to sit down and enjoy a meal are nonexistent.  Let’s be honest, time at home is precious as well, between spending time with my husband, meal prepping, cleaning, and working on this blog; making the snacks needs to take minimal time and effort as well.  So I’ve been experimenting with different combinations of nuts and flavor enhancers, to make something so delicious that I would want to eat it even if I had time to make something else! These raw paleo sea salt, fig and pistachio energy bites are my favorite flavor combination so far!

*Makes about 25

Ingredients:

2 cups almonds

3/4 cup shelled pistachios

3/4 cup dried figs (with stems removed)

1/2 cup pitted dates

3 Tbsp honey

2 tsp sea salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

 

Place 1/4 cup pistachios and 1 tsp sea salt into a food processor; pulse until finely ground but not powdery, put in a small bowl and set aside.

Place almonds into a food processor and pulse until they’re the consistency of crumbly sand (not quite as fine as almond meal).  Add the remaining 1/2 cup of pistachios, dates, figs, honey, the remaining 1 tsp of sea salt and cinnamon to the ground almonds.  Pulse until the ingredients start to cling together and form clumps.

Form mixture into bite sized balls, a little more than a Tbsp size.  You can use your hands, or I have a silicone cookie scoop (kind of like this one) that I pack the mixture into.  If it seems crumbly at first and doesn’t stick together, keep working with it, the warmth of your hands will heat the honey and dates up to help it stick together.  Then roll the balls into the sea salt pistachio grounds you set aside earlier until coated.  Place on a piece of parchment and continue until you’re out of the mixture!

These will keep in an air tight container at room temperature for 7 days, in the refrigerator for a month, and in the freezer for 6 months! Enjoy!

PALEO VEGAN STRAWBERRY MILKSHAKE

A delicious paleo, dairy free, vegan strawberry milkshake that can be whipped up in less than 5 minutes!

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Everywhere I go the universe tempts me with ice cream. There’s a frozen custard place a block away from my house, and an ice cream shop next to both of my salon locations; so at all times an ice cream treat is 5 minutes away. This, combined with my inability to say no to a sweet treat, developed a milkshake addiction in my pre paleo life. Needless to say I had to find a post paleo version that was good enough to satisfy my milkshake cravings, and here it is!
*Serves two

Ingredients:

1/4 cup frozen strawberries
2 scoops vanilla bean coconut milk ice cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup coconut milk
1 Tbsp honey

Place ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth, scrape down the sides and repeat if needed. Optional: top with whipped coconut milk. Enjoy!

PALEO BUFFALO CAULIFLOWER “BONELESS WINGS”

Vegetarian paleo buffalo cauliflower baked “boneless wings” with vegan, dairy free avocado ranch dipping sauce.

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These paleo buffalo cauliflower “boneless wings” are an easy adaptation of my recipe for Paleo Baked Cauliflower Fritters, simply add one tablespoon of your favorite buffalo or hot sauce to the mix before forming into balls. Then, melt two tablespoons of butter or ghee with 4 tablespoons buffalo or hot sauce. Brush on cauliflower fritters and bake as directed.

Avocado Ranch Dipping Sauce:

2 ripe avocados
2 Tbsp unsweetened coconut milk (more if you like a runny consistency)
1 tsp white vinegar
1/4 tsp black pepper
Pinch of salt
1 tsp chopped fresh dill
1 tsp chopped fresh chives
1/4 tsp garlic powder

Place ingredients in a bowl, blend with an immersion blender until smooth. (Can also use a blender or food processor) Enjoy!