Nut Butter Chocolate Truffles With Sea Salt

I always crave sweets right after Halloween, but instead of grabbing a Snickers (which are so delicious), I decided to make nut butter chocolate truffles with no sugar. They turned out absolutely delicious and I highly recommend making them. SO GOOD. Plus, once you make them, you put them in your freezer so you can have a stash for a long time!

 

TRUFFLES! Healthy ones!

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Le Botaniste

One of my favorite neighborhood go-to’s is Le Botaniste. It is perfect for days when you want to be uber healthy and are looking for a quiet place to eat and relax. Le Botaniste was concepted by the creative force behind Le Pain Quotidien (more here) and serves healthy, organic, vegan, and gluten-free meals. Although I have been over two dozen times, I always get the SAME thing — I make my own bowl.

 

This meal is a rainbow.

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Raspberry Crisp

This summer, we have gone to lots of local Oregon farms to pick our own fruit. The best trip was to the raspberry farm, when we came home with 9 pounds.  I wanted to make a raspberry crisp but couldn’t find a recipe anywhere, so I improvised and made my own! It was so good that I made not one, not two, but THREE!  This recipe is low sugar, tart, but oh-so-good.

 

First, you pick.

 

Toosh is officially my picking partner and could stay all day picking the fruit. She never wants to leave when we decide we are done.

Toosh is officially my picking partner.  She never wants to leave.

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Peanut Butter Pretzel Truffles

Thanks to Instagram, I saw a recipe for a peanut butter pretzel truffle from Minimalist Baker and knew I had to make it. The recipe is simple, easy, and a huge win.

 

How good does this look?

How good does this look?

 

Ingredients:

* 1/2 cup pitted medjool  dates, soaked in warm water for 10 minutes then drained

* 1/2 cup salted natural peanut butter

* 3/4 cup raw almonds

* 1/2 cup mini pretzels

* 1.25 cup chocolate chips

* 1 tsp coconut oil

 

Directions:

 

Before and after dipped. I DIP YOU DIP WE DIP

Before and after dipped. I DIP YOU DIP WE DIP

 

* Place almonds in the food processor and process until you reach the consistency of a meal.

 

* Then add in pretzels and  soaked dates in the food processor and process until small bits remain and/or it forms into a ball.

 

* Next, add the peanut butter and mix until well combined. You don”t have to do this in a food processor, and can really just mix it in with a spoon.

 

* Once you have a dough that’s easy to form into balls, scoop out 1 Tablespoon amounts and roll/carefully form into balls. Set on parchment paper and place in freezer to chill.

 

*  In a double boiler, melt the chocolate and add the coconut oil (which helps thin out the chocolate).

 

* Remove truffles from freezer and, one at a time, dip them into the melted chocolate. Transfer back onto parchment paper and place in to the freezer.

 

* Store them in the freezer until you eat them (or else they will melt — they will still be delicious, but they will melt).

 

They will not last long, mainly because you will eat them because they are so good.

They will not last long, mainly because you will want to eat them right away.

 

Happy weekend! Spring here we are, thank goodness!

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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Rawmantic Chocolate

Happy Friday! Before I post an indulging (yet delicious) food item, I want everyone to read the article written by our good friend, Sasha Blair-Goldensohn. Eight years ago, Sasha was hit by a tree in Central Park, and is wheelchair bound. His op-ed in the NYTimes from Wednesday is an eye opener, so please do so. I also highly recommend watching the video that accompanies it. Thanks in advance for reading it.

____

 

I am constantly on the search for a “healthy” dessert.  While I am well aware of the effects of sugar …..I still love nibbling on something sweet at the end of my meals. Call it an addiction, or a vice, but it is a habit that I can’t stop. So these raw chocolate energy bars are perfect. Raw chocolate, sweet, nutty, gooey, and great.

 

Romantic rawmantic.

Romantic rawmantic, yes, handcrafted with love.

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Roasted Kale / Brussels / Broccoli

OK, this is the easiest recipe EVER, but it is so good that I have been re-creating it  (or some variation) for the past several weeks. Lunch, snack, dinner, WHATEVER…. I have even eaten it for breakfast! What is it? Basically, roasted veggie with pine nuts, goat cheese, olive oil and salt. I know, glamorous and sophisticated recipe, right?

 

So green, so good.

So green, so good.

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Vegan Green Dressing

My new favorite green salad dressing — better than green goddess as it has no dairy or mayo. A must try! Super easy and delicious. A great way to start the new year — fresh and green.

 

Ingredients:

* 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves

* 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves

* 1 cup fresh parsley leaves

* 1/4 cup olive oil

* 1 tablespoon white vinegar

* 1 teaspoon salt

* juice of 1/4 a lemon

 

Directions:

 

Green leaves!!!

Green leaves!!!

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Healthy Molasses Cookies

I love chocolate cookies, but even more, I love ginger cookies. So when I stumbled upon ginger-molasses-healthy cookies on goop, I knew I had to make them. Shockingly, I followed every single ingredient and step, but they miserably failed (turned into liquid and melted all together). So, the next day, I altered the recipe, and now they are perfection. Sweet, chewy, not not overly sugar-y, spicy, and peppery. NOTE: You must refrigerate the cookies for at least 12 hours, so you have to think ahead in terms of timing.

 

End result: spicy perfection. I am giving myself a high five because the second time around, they were absolutely perfect.

End result: spicy perfection. I am giving myself a high five because the second time around, they were absolutely perfect.

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Superhero Muffins

As I mentioned last week, my new favorite cookbook is “Run Fast Eat Slow” by Olympian Shalane Flanagan — I literally can’t get enough of it.  My most recent obsession is the “Superhero muffins,” as I have made four batches in the past two weeks (no joke). They are moist, filling, sweet, delicious, and healthy. And refined-sugar and gluten free.  And they make you feel like a superhero.

 

Run Fast. Eat Slow. (Not Run Slow, Eat Fast).

Run Fast. Eat Slow. (Not Run Slow, Eat Fast). Basically, all you need in life is a stick of butter and some veggies.

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Healthy-ish Desserts

I love dessert. Almost as much as I love my family. But I don’t like to eat too much sugar because I get jittery, emotional, and always have a sugar crash. So, when I don’t have time to bake my own health(ier) dessert, than I go to my local stores to purchase healthy-ish desserts. Here they are:

 

Yes, they are packaged food and store bought. But I like to think that they are healthier than a snickers bar, and made with higher quality ingredients in a more thoughtful process. But yes, you are so right, it is always HEALTHIER and better to make your own food at home, where you know exactly what is going into the food. But, YOLO (you only live once), so sometimes it is nice to just grab and go.

Yes, they are packaged food and store bought. But I like to think that they are healthier than a snickers bar, and made with higher quality ingredients in a more thoughtful process. But yes, you are so right, it is always HEALTHIER and better to make your own food at home, where you know exactly what is going into the food. But, YOLO (you only live once), so sometimes it is nice to just grab and go.

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Roasted Broccoli

Hi all-

 

Sorry about the hiatus.  I had the below post scheduled for Friday, but it didn’t seem right to post anything given all of the craziness going on.

 

Particularly coming from a mixed-race marriage/family, I wish I had something intelligent / insightful / constructive to say.  But all I feel is sadness and helplessness.  It feels like we are in a bad movie right now, and my fear is it’s only going to get worse.

 

The only thing I know I can do is to hug my kids and talk to them about race and everything that is going on. And to pray for all of the families and friends directly affected.

 

——————————-

 

 

Last month, while spending a weekend with dear friends, I was served (lucky me) the most scrumptious broccoli I have ever eaten in my life. I didn’t care that there was anything else being served, the broccoli was TO-DIE-FOR. It was a grilled broccoli recipe from Barefoot Contessa. Here it is.

 

A green forest

A green forest

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Homemade Raspberry Chia Jam

Last week, we ventured to a nearby farm to harvest raspberries and cherries. Not only was it a family fun activity, but we also brought home pounds and pounds of fresh fruit. We made (although the term “we” actually doesn’t include “me”) cherry cobbler and cherry pie. I made raspberry chia jam with no refined sugar. Take a look!

 

My raspberry picker.

My raspberry picker.

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Air Fryer: Homemade Chips

My mother is multi-talented.  In addition to being a great chef, she is also a flamenco dancer, champion knitter, embroider, biker, and nia participant. In the kitchen, she is known to experiment, and loves to buy random kitchen gadgets to try different cooking techniques. She owns a dehydrator, a Vitamix (who doesn’t?), more pots and pans than imaginable, and…..an air fryer…..yes, an air fryer. What *is* an air fryer? An air fryer fries your food without the grease and fat. Last night, we opened it and made potato chips (seemed like an easy recipe to try without too many steps or ingredients!)

 

A BIIIIIG machine...not NYC apartment friendly, but good for Oregon where there is a lot of space!

A BIIIIIG machine…not NYC apartment friendly, but good for Oregon where there is a lot of space!

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No Bake Chocolate Deliciousness To The Max

If you have a free 15 minutes, then you need to make these cookies. Doesn’t matter if you are running to the next appointment / pick up / drop off / or work, if you have the time, then you must make these. DELICIOUSNESS TO THE MAX TIMES INFINITY. (Sorry for the limited amount of pictures — my iphone was in the Apple Store #FML due to a cracked screen, so I did what I could do….and I needed you to have this recipe for the long weekend, so sorry!)

 

This is the end result. It tastes better than it looks. And the smell is divine, too.

This is the end result. It tastes better than it looks. And the smell is divine, too.

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Black Bean Flourless Brownies

Moist, delicious, and oh-so-healthy! Store in fridge.

 

Yup, you read it correctly, say WHAAATTTT? Black Bean Flourless Brownies? Black beans in a brownie????? With or without rice? Just joking (about the rice), and yessers, I am serious about the black beans in the brownies. I was intrigued by the recipe from A Clean Bake, so I made the recipe, found myself interested in how weird they were, and then realized I had eaten more than my share #oops. So here is the recipe: (Note, when I made it, I must have been overly tired because I literally doubled the amount of black beans #gassy and forgot baking powder and salt…. I think that is what happens when I try to rush/bake between kid activities and my tutoring gig. Mind you, even though I forgot all that and put way too many beans in, everything was delicious!)

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Thai Cabbage Slaw

The perfect crunch, taste, and salad. I can't wait to try more of Mark Bittman's concoctions.

My obsession with Mark Bittman’s Kitchen Matrix Cookbook continues. I can’t speak highly enough about it and EVERYONE must get it for their kitchen STAT. It makes meal-planning easy, and spices up our family dinner repertoire. My most recent find (there seems to be a new one every week!) is the thai cabbage slaw — DELISH what what!!!

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Salted Almond Butter Freezer Fudge

Add salt.

 

I am a devout nut-butter eater and like devouring nut butters in ANY form. So when I came across this Salted Almond Butter Freezer Fudge recipe, I instantly ran to the kitchen to make it. I love love them, and I so shared them with a fellow friend / parent from Cruzzie’s school. Later that day, I received three text messages from three other moms, requesting the recipe (friend #1 shared with friends #2-4). They are loved by all!  Enjoy!

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Hu Kitchen Granola

Recently, the Upper East Side has become more hip with good restaurants and stores (not that it makes the UES hip or cool… but it’s moving in the right direction….). My favorite addition is Hu Kitchen. Back in the day, I would take the subway downtown to Union Square, just to go to Hu Kitchen and get my hands on some cashew cream mash (think frozen yogurt, but not).  Now that there is a location close-by, I go there weekly to get my fix of granola, crack bars, raw brownies, and drinks. As a granola snob, I can safely attest that their granola is TO DIE FOR.  INCREDIBLE. And made with healthy, pure and raw ingredients!

 

Paleo Granola!

Paleo Granola! Say what??? SOLD SOLD SOLD.

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