Peppermint Almond Chocolate Bark

Recently Young Living got the go ahead in Canada to label a select few of their essential oils as food grade. Though in the US they have been able to label them this way for quite a while.

This opens up so many more possibilities on how to use the oils! Though the label is different the actual oil inside the bottle is the exact same so if you have the oil from before you can still use them this way.

I’ve been on a chocolate kick lately and have seen several versions of this recipe floating around the Internet. It’s not my first time making chocolate, but I normally use cocoa butter and cacao etc. This time I just wanted a fast and easy recipe and I thought it would be fun to try out some essential oils in it too.

This took me less than the time it took to make a cup of tea – I know that because I made it while waiting for my tea to steep. I usually have a bag of this in the freezer and grab a piece or two whenever I’m craving chocolate (usually daily!).

So without further ado:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • 1-4 drops peppermint vitality essential oil
  • Handful of crushed almonds
  • Sea salt (optional)

Directions:

Melt chocolate and coconut oil together. I prefer to use the double boiler method but putting it in the microwave in 30 second increments and stirring after each time also works.

Once melted add the peppermint oil to taste. I love lots of peppermint flavour so I added 4 drops.

Line a cookie sheet with wax or parchment paper. Pour out the chocolate and spread with a spatula. Top with almonds and sea salt if you want.

Put in freezer for 30 minutes.

Take out break apart and EAT!

Gluten and Refined Sugar Free Banana Bread

Gluten Free Banana Bread

I’m slowly obtaining recipes to freeze to make my transition back to work smooth, stress free, and organized.  I’m fairly certain this is an ideal I have and that it’s actually going to be very difficult, but anything I can do to make it a little less difficult I’m going to try out.  I had a large ziploc bag full of frozen bananas, and quite a few strays in the freezer to use up so I figured it was a perfect time to test out some Banana Bread recipes, I tried two and settled on this one as the winner. Overall we got 5 loaves of banana bread out of my stash!  I had a really yummy recipe that I always made for Carlos but it’s laden with oil and sugar and I’m really trying to cut back on the sugar intake in this house.  Not to mention I’m on a mission to limit Ezekiel to no refined sugar at all (there’s another ideal).  So my mission for this recipe was to make a bread that would please my husband (I’ll eat healthy anything but he’s a little harder to convince) and that I would be able to give to Ezekiel without compromising my ideal.  Enter this gluten free banana bread.  The recipe is adapted from one I found on The Minimalist Baker.

Gluten Free Banana Bread

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1.5 cups mashed banana (about 3 bananas)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 3 Tbsp plain Greek yogurt **
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 3.5 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup milk of choice
  • 1 1/4 cup almond meal
  • 1 1/4 cup gluten free flour blend (you may need to add xantham gum depending on which blend you use.)
  • 1 1/4 cup oats

** I made one loaf with coconut oil and the rest with yogurt, the loaves with yogurt were A LOT heavier than with the oil but still really good.  If you don’t mind oil you could substitute this for 3 tbsp melted coconut oil.

Here’s what you do:

Gluten Free Banana Bread

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease a loaf pan, or line it with parchment paper.
  3. Dump all ingredients into a bowl and mix.
  4. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes, when it’s done it will be firm in the center, be golden brown and have cracks on the top.
  5. Let cool completely before cutting so that it holds it’s form.

Gluten Free Banana Bread Gluten Free Banana Bread

Let me know if you make this and how it turned out!

 

Toasted Maple Pecan Oats

Toasted Maple Pecan Oats

Yesterday morning I woke up to a massive amount of snow.  Yep. You read that right, LOTS of snow on September 9, and it just kept snowing.  While I don’t mind the snow, I’m hoping that Autumn comes back to join us because it’s definitely my favorite season.  As well, my tomato plants are still planted (and covered) with about 35 green tomatoes.  I’m taking a huge risk by leaving them there, but I’ve been assured that if it doesn’t freeze and they are covered that they will survive and be well.  I’ll let you know next week how that turns out.

Live and learn.

I figured that with all the snow on the ground, I’d make a warm toasty, reminiscent of winter, breakfast.

Enter Toasted Maple Pecan Oats.

Heavenly.

Make.This.Now.

Toasted Maple Pecan OatsTo make two hearty servings you will need:

  • 1 Cup Steel Cut Oats
  • 3 Cups Water
  • 1/4 Cup Pecans
  • 1/4 Cup Maple Syrup (+1/4 Cup Water)
  • 1 Tsp Cinnamon

Here’s what you do:

  1. Place oats in a medium sauce pan over high heat.  Stir them constantly for 4-5 minutes until they turn slightly brown and smell nutty.
  2. Add in the water and turn heat to medium low. Stir occasionally until all the liquid is absorbed, this should take 20-30 minutes. Remove from heat once liquid is absorbed.
  3. Place pecans in small frying pan over high heat.  Toast them by either stirring or shaking the pan frequently to ensure nothing burns.  Once you can smell the toasty”ness” add the syrup + water and cinnamon.  Stir constantly until thickened but it should still have a bit of liquid.
  4. Serve hot, with a cup of well brewed coffee.

I really hope you are enjoying nicer weather than me and that you don’t have the urge to make this yumminess for many weeks still.  BUT if you do happen to make it, let me know how you enjoyed it!