I decided to make a healthier applesauce recipe, since I can’t get enough apple recipes this fall. Now that I know how ridiculously easy it is to make it yourself, this will be one item I no longer need to buy. If you’re too old for just plain old applesauce, you can always get fancy and mix it into muffins, cakes, waffles, an well anything you can think of. I’m seriously considering adding this to popsicles. It may be October, but it’s still hot in LA.
I kept the applesauce pretty chunky and didn’t cook it down a crazy amount. I wanted to apple taste and texture to really shine through. I used Granny Smith apples, which are pretty tart, so I added some maple syrup to balance out the sour with a bit of sweetness. A lot of recipes called for brown sugar, and since maple syrup is a similar color, I thought I try it out. However, you could always use honey or eliminate the natural sweetener altogether.
A Healthier Applesauce
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Serving Size: 4
5 granny smith apples
1/4 cup of grade b maple syrup
1/2 cup of water
1 cinnamon stick
a pinch of cinnamon
Peel and chop apples. Add them to to dutch oven with water, cinnamon stick, and maple syrup.
Cook down mixture until apples are desired firmness.
I prefer the apples to still be still chunky and firm. About 30 minutes. Stir often so apples don't burn.
Transfer to a food processor, and blend/pulse for a few seconds. Add a pinch of cinnamon, or more to taste. A little goes a long way.
(optional) sprinkle a little cinnamon over the top and serve.
These peanut-free copycat Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups taste just like the real thing. Maybe a bit better, because I like my chocolate darker and this uses Enjoy Life Semi-Sweet Chocolate. I love this brand because their products, including the chocolate chips, are made in a dedicated nut and gluten free facility, and are certified non-gmo and vegan. Beware, these chocolate chips are dangerously addictive and often go straight to my stomach, instead of a recipe.
I also used Barney Butter Smooth Almond Butter. Do not substitute a different brand. This almond butter is also made in a peanut free facility and is also certified non-gmo, gluten-free, and vegan. Plus, it tastes exactly like peanut butter! I don’t know how they managed it, but it I’m so excited to try more peanut recipes. The ingredients in this almond butter are blanched roasted almonds, evaporated cane juice, palm fruit oil, and sea salt. I found this at my local Whole Foods, but you can also purchase it on amazon. Seriously, if you don’t tell anyone it’s not peanut butter, they won’t know.
Peanut-free Peanut Butter Cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 hours
Total Time: 5 hours, 5 minutes
Serving Size: 4-6
2 10oz bags of Enjoy Life semi-sweet chocolate
1 jar of Barney Butter Smooth Almond Butter
Line a muffin tin with baking cups.
Melt chocolate over a double boiler.
Add 1 tbsp of melted chocolate to baking cups. Then freeze until solid.
Then add 1 tbsp of almond butter over frozen chocolate.
Then add 1 tbsp of melted chocolate over almond butter. Then freeze until solid.
Let it defrost for 10-15 before eating it, so chocolate isn't too hard.
Make sure you use Barney Butter Smooth Almond Butter if you want it to taste like Reece's Peanut Butter Cups. You can also experiment with fillings. I've tried it with homemade pecan butter as well.
Some times all you need a funny quote or a cute exercise shirt to get you excited about working out. I’ve made a board on my Pinterest profile called Funny Excercise Tanks & Shirts that I think a lot of health minded people would love get as a holiday gift. If you like the board on Pinterest, please follow it, and be sure to check out my Healing and Eating Recipes board as well.
Here are a few of my favorite funny exercise tank tops:
I wanted to let everyone know about this cool running event coming up on Sunday, Oct 19th, for a good cause. Between 15-20% of proceeds from the event will go toward SMMEF (Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation), and for those who can’t attend, you can still donate separately to https://www.crowdrise.com/2014runfest, which supports Santa Monica and Malibu schools sports programs and athletes.
Participants can join the 5K or 10K timed races for both competitive and non-competitive runners, as well as the fun Retro Run, where runners are encouraged to dress in the spirit of their favorite decade (think 70s, 80s, and 90s) and have a great time with no pressure. This is a non-timed course for those just looking to have a some fun. Plus, with Halloween right around the corner, any excuse to dress up sounds like a good time.
Details: Participants can register at http://santamonicarunfest.com/ The RunFEST starting location is south of the intersection of Barnard Way and Ocean Park Blvd in Santa Monica. Parking is located just south of Pico Blvd. and can only be entered going south on Barnard Way.
FYI, Skechers Performance is supporting Santa Monica RunFEST by giving a free Skechers cinch sack to all participants, so you can also look forward to some swag. If running is your thing, why not support a good cause and your health too?
These pumpkin waffles are paleo friendly and perfect for fall. We served them with some baked bacon. Yes, you read that right. Baked bacon is my new favorite thing. We spread it out on a cookie sheet covered in aluminum foil and bake it for 12-15 minutes. Then, we move it to a dish with paper towels to soak up the excess oil. The bacon comes out pretty and flat, and it takes no time at all to cook or clean. Which means we’ve been eating a lot of bacon and eggs for breakfast … lunch and dinner. What can I say? Bacon is my candy and it’s almost Halloween
These paleo friendly pumpkin waffles taste amazing with some real maple syrup. The pumpkin taste is subtle, since we only used one cup of pumpkin puree. The waffles also contain cinnamon and are sweetened with wildflower honey. This breakfast is definitely a fall indulgence, even if it uses paleo friendly ingredients, but still totally worth the effort.
Pumpkin Waffles with Baked Bacon
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Yield: 8 waffles
Serving Size: 4
1 cup of almond flour
1/4 teaspoon of sea salt
1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of vanilla
2 tablespoons of wildflower honey
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 cup of pumpkin puree
1 package of bacon (8 oz)
Lay bacon on a cookie sheet covered in aluminum foil and bake for 12-15 minutes at 350 degrees fairenheight.
Mix together dry ingredients, almond flour, sea salt, baking soda, and cinnamon, in a large bowl. Then, set aside.
Mix together wet ingredients, eggs, vanilla, honey, and pumpkin puree, in another bowl.
Combine wet and dry ingredients.
When bacon is done, transfer bacon to a dish with paper towels to soak up excess grease.
Spoon waffle batter in to waffle maker 1/4 cup per waffle. Follow directions according to your waffle maker.
Serve baked bacon and pumpkin waffles with real maple syrup.
Roasted pecan butter with apples is one of my favorite paleo and vegan friendly snacks, since it satisfies my sugar cravings without adding natural sweeteners. Although, maple syrup or honey would taste great with pecans.
The pecans blended very easily in the food processor. Pecans are soft with a lot of natural oil so you don’t need to add any additional oils to blend it up either. Just be patient with the food processor and mix often, maybe every minute or two, to get the pecans completely blended. I’ve made this with cashews before, and it took a lot more time, so pecans are a great beginner nut butter to try to make yourself.
I suggest roasting the raw unsalted pecans for 5 minutes ahead of time. This allows you to control the amount of salt, plus when I bought pecan butter already made at the farmer’s market, the vendor said the raw pecan butter went bad quickly in the fridge. So, either make sure you eat it within a couple days to a week, or roast it first, and it should last a bit longer. Honestly, between my husband and I, the pecan butter will be gone in a day, two at most.
Roasted Pecan Butter with Apples
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Serving Size: 4-6
4 cups of unsalted raw pecans
1/4 tsp of sea salt
4 granny smith apples
Roast pecans on cookie sheet for five minutes at 350 degrees fairenheight.
Then add, roasted pecans to food processor and blend. Mix often about every minute or so, to help pecans blend. This should take 10-15 minutes. Pecans are soft and have a lot of oil, so it shouldn't take that long.
When it looks creamy, mix in sea salt.
Slice apple and serve.
(optional) Add maple syrup, honey and/or cinnamon to the pecan butter.