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07
Jul 14

Homemade Banana Chips

I’m on a raw food kick. After a WHOLE raw apple pie last week, I couldn’t just stop there.

Homemade Banana Chips - Natural Sweet Recipes

I’ve made homemade apple chips and loved them, so now it’s time for banana chips! Raw fruit chips are recipes that make great use out of dehydrators.  I am not sure if I can convince you to run out and get a dehydrator today, but I am going to try to convince you to believe how delicious raw fruit can be!

Homemade Healthy Banana Chips - Natural Sweet Recipes

After a few hours, little banana slices are transformed into sweet chips that are sooo delicious and chewy! Seriously, nature’s candy is right here! These sweet things are almost like homemade caramel chips. A little lemon juice keeps them bright and free from browning but that’s the only other ingredient other than fresh, ripe bananas.

Vegan Sugar-Free Banana Chips I’m adding these to our Kids Approved Natural Treats list and am planning on stocking up on them for my next road trip. Once you make them, you’ll never want to be without them. Enjoy!

Homemade Banana Chips  (vegan, raw, gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free!)
Print Recipe

3 Large Ripe Bananas
1/2 Large Lemon

Slice bananas about 1/4″ inch slices. You can cut slices thinner than 1/4″, but they will be firmer and harder.  1/4 inches will create the perfect chewy crunch! Drizzle slices with lemon juice. Lightly spray dehydrator sheets with a thin coating of coconut oil or natural oil spray. Lay banana pieces on tray. Dehydrate at 135 degrees for 15 hours for softer banana chips or 18 for more firm chips. Store chips in an airtight container at room temperature.


01
Jul 14

Raw Apple Pie

What’s more American than apple pie? The Fourth of July calls for all the “All-American” treats we can muster – and apple pie is one of them. This year, instead of ending the holiday with pie, here’s a healthy recipe that allows you to begin the holiday with pie! And it’s not necessarily what you’d expect.

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No-bake, no-cook, and no-dehydrator-required! The only requirement I had for this apple pie was it to be totally cinnamon-y, gooey and sweet! This pie might not look that traditional, but is it delicious! It’s practically just as sweet as the baked stuff, but is simply perfect for breakfast or an afternoon snack. Nuts and oats make up a hearty, filling crust, while the sweet apples are folded into this delicious caramel sauce:

raw carmel sauce

With a bit more cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg, this caramel transforms into a sweet apple pie filling. It’s hard to believe how tasty this pie was with what it is made of. There is nothing but whole, beneficial foods in this recipe!

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One of the best benefits – there’s no high maintenance crust to deal with and not a ton of ingredients. No baking means the fresh, raw enzymes in these ingredients are fully intact. Simple, healthy and totally raw has never been so rewarding. You can eat this pie guilt-free for breakfast, lunch or dinner!

 

Raw Apple Pie (vegan, raw and gluten-free)
Print Recipe

Crust:
7 Dates, soaked in just enough water to cover for at least 1 hour
1 1/3 cups Raw Walnuts, soaked for 5-6 hours
1/2 teaspoon Sea or Pink Salt
1/2 teaspoon Natural Butter Extract, optional but recommended!
1/4 cup Maple Syrup
21/4 cups Oats or GF Oats

Apples:
5 Large Apples (mix of sweet and tart)
1/4 cup Fresh Lemon Juice

Cinnamon Caramel Filling:
10 Dates, soaked in just enough water to cover for 1 hour
2 Tablespoons Raw Coconut Butter
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
2/3 cup Raw Maple Syrup
2 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
1/2 teaspoon Sea or Pink Salt
3-4 Tablespoons Date Water

Directions:

Soak nuts and dates and reserve date water.

Peel and slice apples. Slice 1/8-1/4 inch thick slices, so they will soak up a lot of the moisture and get nice and soft. Alternately, you could throw them in the food processor and chop into small pieces, but these rough chopped pieces do not yield a true apple pie appearance. Squeeze lemon juice over them, stir to coat and set aside.

In a food processor, combine all the filling ingredients and mix until totally smooth, at least 5 minutes. Add a bit more date water as needed, but this mixture should be a thick caramel looking sauce. Pour this over the apples and mix to fully coat.

Without cleaning out the food processor, add the 7 soaked dates and pulse until crumbly. Add the walnuts, salt and butter extract. Pulse until just mixed. Add the maple syrup and oats and pulse until combined, but not over mixed so the walnuts release their oils and become buttery. The crust should be smooth, but damp enough to hold together. Add a bit more oats to reach the right consistency if needed.  Dump the mixture into the bottom of the pie dish, reserving 1/4 cup for later. Firmly press the mixture to the base of an 8-inch pie pan.

Next, pour the caramel apple filling to the crust. Sprinkle the reserved 1/4 cup of crust over  pie. Sprinkle with additional cinnamon if desired. Cut into the pie and enjoy! Keep pie covered in the fridge for up to 5 days. Pie becomes more soft and moist after the first day.

 

 

 


28
Jun 14

Stop Unhealthy Cravings {Guest Post}

Hey! We’ve been busy working on details of our cookbook for the last few weeks and with so much going on, it was the prefect time to have Lesli, at MindPlusMe guest post for us today!

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We’ve all heard about meditation and the importance of intuitive or mindful eating. In order to control cravings and make good choices, it’s important to learn to pay attention to our individual bodies and mental thoughts towards ourselves and food. Cravings can stem from a variety of reasons, but how can we change our thoughts to help us in our goals?

Lesli is a meditation expert that is hear to share some tips on how meditation or deep positive thinking can help us understand and control unhealthy cravings! This may not be a healthy recipe, but it is another beneficial part of obtaining a natural lifestyle. We hope you’ll find these tips helpful in whatever your individual health goals are!  Thanks, Lesli!

Did you know that meditation can be helpful in dealing with cravings?  In a recent study done by McGill University in Quebec, Canada, researchers found that meditation significantly reduced chocolate cravings in subjects who had been taught to meditate.  Who can’t relate to chocolate cravings???

When people hear about mediation, most people say they’ve been meaning to try it.  So why don’t we?  Because it’s too nebulous and abstract. Besides, nobody has time for that!  But…do we have time for the fallout from too much stress—the effects on our health, our relationships or our lack of sleep?  Do we have time to deal with the abuse we put ourselves through when we mess up on our resolution to eat well?  You don’t have time NOT to meditate!  And you’ll be amazed at how simple it can be.

Before I get into specifics, you can begin to meditate today by simply making yourself comfortable sitting or lying down—no contorted poses required.  Close your eyes and find a slow breath pattern.  Focus on your breath going in and out.  Relax each muscle in your body, one at a time—you could start at your head and go down; imagine your body is melting into the floor, bed or chair.  When distracting thoughts come, imagine them sliding off your head and down your back and away.  Maintain a still mind and a still body for at least 5 minutes.  Gradually and gently transition back into activity so your mindful state lingers.  Consistency is the key with meditation, so find a regular time to do it.

Now that you know the basics of mediation:

5 WAYS TO MEDITATE YOUR WAY TO HEALTHIER EATING:

  • BREATHE IN GOOD, BREATHE OUT BAD.  As you inhale, say or think a positive word or phrase that you want to embrace, such as ‘health,’ ‘love,’ or ‘energy’. Imagine it flowing through your body and your spirit.  As you exhale, say or think a negative word or phrase, such as ‘fear,’ or ‘sickness,’ or ‘junk food’ and imagining it leaving your body with your breath and floating away from you.  It will eventually have you thinking and feeling more positivly to help keep you focused on health goals.
  • DISTRACTION.  Sometimes we are tempted to eat poorly because we’re bored, or it’s simply a habit. When do you most often turn to junk food? Schedule a few minutes to meditate for those times of the day when you know you are usually tempted. For some, this is late at night or in-between meals and meditation can keep you stay focused on something good, rather than mindless eating.
  • WRITE YOUR OWN AFFIRMATION.  I recently wrote an affirmation, recorded it to music on my phone, and now listen to it regularly, I included statements about who I want to be, what I want to do, and how I want to think.  Listening to positive ideas truly changes our thoughts, kind of like getting a song stuck in your head—you keep hearing it over and over and over.  With this in mind, you can meditate by thinking the thoughts and behaviors you want to adopt, as if you are already there.  For example, if you struggle avoiding sugar, you would meditate with thoughts such as these:  “I have a healthy body.  I choose to eat foods that will nourish my body.” Remember to use positive statements in the present.
  • VISUALIZATION.  Our minds are so much more powerful than we give them credit for.  While meditating, simply imagine yourself eating well, refusing to put “fake” food in your body, and think of yourself feeling vibrant and energetic with each good choice.  Try to see yourself in your mind’s eye as if you are watching a movie.  The more detail you create and the more of your five senses you employ, the more effective it will be.  Create a play-by-play of a day full of healthy choices. This simple “movie” is an effective form of meditation but many don’t realize that these visualization can go either way – negative or positive.
  • ACCENTUATE THE POSITIVE.  We are so good at constructing our lives in the negative tense:  ‘I can’t eat sugar’ or ‘I wanted to eat that but I knew I shouldn’t’ or ‘it’s hard cutting out so many things.’  If you have to, write each of the common negative things you think and say, and then convert them to a positive statement such as: ‘I love choosing healthy foods’ or ‘I have discovered so many wonderful natural foods’ or ‘I enjoy eating healthy foods’.  While mediating, you can repeat or sing your positive statements, and soon this way of thinking becomes apart of your inner dialogue and helps you stay focused on your healthy goals when it matters most.

Achieving a clean diet is a life-long journey.  We get a little better each day.  As we are patient with ourselves and our rate of progress, we gain self-acceptance. This aids in our ability treat ourselves well and do better for the future. Changing our thoughts about food through meditation is a powerful tool to getting us there.

Thank you, Lesli! These tips are all an important piece of enjoying health to the fullest. We hope you all will try some of these ideas and see the benefits!

Have a fantastic weekend!!

 

 

 

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