Today we’re giving a warm welcome to a special guest, the lovely Amanda Franko!

Amanda is a wholesome chef with a background in holistic nutrition, whose recipes aim to encourage balance and healing within the body, while delivering an incredible flavor experience.

She’s sharing three simple sweet treat recipes made with feel-good (and easy to find) ingredients. I personally can’t wait to make each one. Cherry-Carob Love Balls get in my belly!

And remember – you have permission to eat sweet treats any time you want to. So if you’re feelin’ it, enjoy a treat on Valentine’s day and on any day your heart desires.

Spiced Chocolate Avocado Mousse

Ingredients

• 1 ripe avocado
• 1 heaping tbsp cacao powder (or cocoa)
• 2 tbsp coconut oil (room temperature, or slightly melted)
• 1 tsp cinnamon
• ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
• 1 tbsp smooth almond butter
• 1 tbsp maple syrup (or your choice of sweetener- to taste)
• Pinch of Himalayan salt 

Directions

• In a wide bowl, add all ingredients and mash together with the back of a spoon. This will take a few minutes to get smooth.
• Once super blended, creamy and consistent, scoop into tiny cups and top with as many fresh berries as you wish!

This decadent mousse is loaded with nourishing healthy fats, so much goodness from chocolate (antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals – especially magnesium and manganese, anandamide – the feel-good neurotransmitter) plus a digestive and cardiovascular kick from the cayenne! Makes 2-3 servings; keeps in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Cherry-Carob Love Balls

Ingredients

• ½ cup almonds
• ½ cup walnuts
• 6 pitted Medjool dates (soak in warm water for 10 mins)
• ½ cup dried cherries
• 1 tbsp coconut oil (room temperature, or slightly melted)
• ¼ cup coconut shreds
• 2 tbsp carob powder
• 1 tsp cinnamon
• ¼ tsp vanilla bean powder (OR ½ tsp liquid vanilla)
• ¼ tsp Himalayan salt 

Directions

• Start by grinding your nuts into a flour. Using a blender is best for this. Put your almonds in first, blend into a flour (some chunks are totally fine, will add more texture to the treats), set aside, then add your walnuts.
• In a food processor, add your nut flours, soaked pitted dates, dried cherries, coconut shreds, coconut oil, carob powder, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla.
• Process until all mixed into a workable dough. If dough is too wet, add more coconut shreds, if too dry, add more coconut oil.
• Give it a taste to ensure the flavor is balanced to your liking, if so, then go ahead and roll into balls.
• Optional: Energy balls can then be rolled in a coating of either the following- coconut shreds, carob powder, cacao nibs for a crunch. Makes a dozen medium sized treats; can keep in the fridge easily for 2 weeks.

These are incredible on-the-go snacks! Carob is a pod from a tree that tastes very similar to chocolate but has no caffeine stimulation. Instead, it’s a great source of calcium, antioxidants, fiber and is naturally sweet in taste. Store in fridge, let it sit at room temp for at least 10 mins before indulging to soften.

Raspberry Coconut Chia Parfait 

Ingredients

• 2 tbsp chia seeds (soaked in 1 cup of water- or any liquid- could use coconut water, almond milk- for at least 20 mins- stirring after the first 2 minutes to break up clumps. This can also be soaked overnight.)
• ¼ cup full-fat coconut milk (Cans are often the creamiest! Organic and BPA-free ideally)
• ¼ cup fresh raspberries
• 1.5 tsp maple syrup (or your choice of sweetener- to taste)
• Pinch of Himalayan salt
• ¼ tsp vanilla bean powder (OR ½ tsp liquid vanilla)
• Optional toppings: cacao nibs, goji berries, coconut shreds, granola, nuts & seeds – as much as you’d like!

Directions

• Once your chia is soaked with its chosen liquid, mix in your sweetener, salt pinch and vanilla.
• In a clear mason jar or glass, start with a layer of the chia gel (about 2-3 cm thick), then pour in a layer of coconut milk, with a few raspberries, perhaps any of your optional toppings.
• Keep going with the layers of chia gel, coconut milk, raspberries and get creative.
• This makes a power-packed breakfast, snack or dessert. There is a reason the word “Chia” means “Strength” in Mayan. These little seeds are loaded with many nutrients, source of Omega • 3’s, fiber, protein and can actually help you stay satisfied for longer.
• Makes 2 servings

About Amanda

Amanda Franko created her company Lush Earth as a trusted source of food education, inspiration and exquisite dining services.

Her calling is to inspire others towards a more holistic lifestyle by nurturing the body, mind & soul with nutrient-rich whole foods. You can follow Amanda’s work through her Facebook page:
www.facebook.com/lushearth or contact her at: lushearth@gmail.com

PS: Last week I shared a very vulnerable note from my heart. If you missed it, you can read it here.

PPS: I’ve been brought on to write the monthly “Nourish” article for wellness, nutrition & green lifestyle magazine Tonic Magazine – yaaay! You can read my first piece “Mindful Eating” here, and the most recent article “Simple and Satisfying Food Swaps” right here.

PPPS: You can download a printable version of these recipes here.

Wishing you a wonderful Wednesday – I hope it’s filled with love! xo

claire-rhn-2

 

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