Chocolate Hazelnut Squares

Chocolate Hazelnut SquaresThis week has been a funny week for me. The new company I work for offers extended health & dental benefits as well as critical illness benefits as an additional coverage. When I started I thought “What the hell? Might as well apply for the it – I know how shit can happen”. Well, I received a letter from the benefit company stating that I was denied all critical illness coverage because – you guessed it – I had cancer.   Chocolate Hazelnut SquaresDoesn’t matter that it has been 11 years since I had it, or that I practice a healthy life style, eat all my vegetables, drink several litres of water a day, exercise daily. Nope. None of that shit matters. Because all they see in bright red lights as they read my application was ” CANCER, CANCER, CANCER” screaming at them (my hands and arms are of course flay-ling right now to describe this).

At first I was annoyed that I was denied all critical illness coverage (this includes about 40 different types of illnesses other than cancer like heart conditions). But then, I thought about it. Instead of getting mad that I was never going to get this coverage, I thought  – what if I invest that monthly fee differently? Either I invest the money into more organic, healing produce OR I invest it into my retirement plan when I will be living even longer then the people who denied me  my application? I decided to go with the later. Because let’s be honest, only 10% of all cancers are genetic – the rest happen due to life style choices, environmental pollutions or toxins that people have been exposed to. If I am making a daily effort to live an honest, clean eating, balanced lifestyle then I am already making more of an effort to sustain my life. And the truth is, none of us know what’s to come. Maybe my conscious efforts will work, maybe they won’t. But at least I can say I tried. At least I took the time to invest in my health, my mental well-being and my future of living to 100. And that, makes me smile. :)

Chocolate Hazelnut Squares

Chocolate Hazelnut Squares
 
Chocolate pudding layered on top of a hazelnut chocolate crust.
Ingredients
  • CRUST
  • 20 pitted dates, soaked in water for 15mins
  • 1¾ cups raw hazelnuts
  • ⅔ cup cocoa powder
  • ½ cup gluten free flour blend (I used TJ's brand)
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, softened
  • PUDDING
  • 2 tbsp arrowroot powder
  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9.5 x 13.5 glass pan with a little coconut oil. Set aside.
  2. In a food processor on an 'S' blade, grind up nuts until a grain-like consistency. Place in bowl and set aside.
  3. Next, place soaked dates into food processor and blend until a paste-like texture. Dump in bowl with nuts.
  4. Add all other ingredients to bowl and mix until mixture takes on a dough-like shape. Spread into glass baking pan and spread evenly. Press the dough firmly into the pan, using the bottom of a glass if necessary to make it level. Bake for 10 - 15mins. When baked, set aside to cool.
  5. In the meantime, start your pudding. Place your arrowroot powder and a couple tablespoons of almond milk in a bowl and mix together until there are no lumps. Set aside.
  6. Take remaining ingredients and place in a small sauce pan. Heat on medium low heat and continue to stir until well blended/melted.
  7. Add the arrowroot mixture and continue to stir continuously. Once mixture begins to thicken quickly transfer to spread on top of the hazelnut crust. Smooth out fast before pudding begins to set. Place in fridge to cool for several hours or overnight.
  8. When ready to serve, add chopped hazelnuts & grated dark chocolate. Cut into squares and devour!

 

Bloody Berry Beet Halloween Smoothie

Bloody Berry & Beet SmoothieHappy Halloween! I wanted to bring you one last smoothie post this week to make sure you have enough to fuel your fire for this Halloween day! Look at these little tangerine jack-o-lanterns! Q nearly died when he saw them! So easy to do!

Bloody Berry & Beet SmoothieHa ha! I love how these tangerines look like they are laughing at each other!

Halloween is so much more exciting again now that we have kids. And by exciting, I mean a long, tedious, 4 hours that tests my patience for my child and all other young human beings on this planet. It’s going to be a long night. But – it only comes once a year so I better enjoy the smile on my child’s face while he is out trick-o-treating. Or the way he gets electrified when he puts on his costume. He’s Spider-Man, of course. For the third year in a row…Wish us luck…:/

Bloody Berry & Beet SmoothieA few notes on this smoothie:

1. Yes, I’m really telling you to use the beet green in this drink.

2. Make sure your beets are nice and fresh to avoid the greens tasting too bitter.

3. Raw is the way to go. When you cook your beet you lose the high amount of vitamin C in this root veggie which will help you through the upcoming cold & flu season.

4. Don’t be scare…try it! ;)

Bloody Berry Beet Halloween Smoothie
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 tbsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 serving of Bodacious Berry Vega Protein Smoothie Powder
  • 1 small beet, raw, chopped
  • beet greens (leaves), chopped
  • TANGERINE JACK-O-LANTERNS
  • 1 tangerine
  • 1 skewer
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in a high powered blender and blend until smooth.
  2. FOR THE JACK-O-LANTERN
  3. Cut the tangerine in half, scoop out the centre.
  4. Take a sharp, fine blade knife and carve whatever face you feel like.
  5. Skewer the carved jack-o-lantern and place in smoothie as decoration!