Chocolate Avocado Mousse

Chocolate Avocado Mousse 

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As August comes to an end I have put together a delicious recipe that will make anyones taste buds dance! In celebration of our Avocados ripening within the next month I wanted to give out one of my most favorite recipes. 

Now I'm a little sad thinking about it because we are moving next July which means no more free avocados. We moved to our little home in September 2014 here in Southern California and to our surprise there was a giant avocado tree in the front yard. This tree has mostly been a blessing. We do have our crazy avocado thieves that come mid October load up their tiny truck bed with hundreds of avocados and pretend to not speak english when they're caught as well as plumbing issues because the trees roots grow into the pipes in the front yard. Its been a little crazy but it makes up for the fact that we get organic avocados! 

Now these are no haas avocados these bad boys grow to be the size of softballs they are called Hall Avocados! They are ginormous and delicious. 

They also stay this pretty green color they dont go green to black. Also! When you pick them if you leave the stems attached with a leaf they stay good longer. Usually we have to put the avocados in a Brown paper Trader Joes bag and put them in the cupboard for about 3-4 days to speed up the ripening process. All the time people say they're not ripe if you pick them and they're not ready to eat but that is not true. We have avocados on our tree clear until January and they're still this way. 

Did you know?

 

There are hundreds of avocado varieties!!! I believe only 7 types of avocados are grown commercially in California. 

 

This recipe is really simple but you need to make sure you do exact measurements on each ingredient otherwise it will throw off the taste. Too much avocado will have the mousse tasting more mild and not sweet like you want it. Too much cacao powder will make it bitter. Keep that in mind.

Chocolate Avocado Mousse 

 

  • 1 Ripe Avocado
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cashew, almond or coconut milk (coconut taste the best)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract (Baker Imitation Vanilla is my favorite) 
  • 1/4 cup raw/local honey or maple syrup
  1. Put all your ingredients into a food processor (blender works fine but make sure all the avocado is completely blended up or you'll have chunks of avocado in your mousse).
  2. Refrigerate for 10 minutes before eating.
  3. Enjoy!
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This Vanilla!!!! I've tried other Vanilla extracts but feel this one makes all the difference. 

Let me know how yours taste or if you add anything different! 

Paleo Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pie

Paleo Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pie

So yesterday I had a major sweet tooth and needed to fix it some way or another. So I looked in the pantry for what I could use and literally I had these few ingredients on hand. --- Backstory we got back from Vacation a week ago today. So we pretty much only have staples in our house. Nothing out of your normal fruit, veggie, protein, cereal, almond milk grocery list. --- So it was Sunday and we don't believe in going out on Sundays just for the fact that we dont like working on Sundays so we don't feel like we should make others work on Sundays by going out and buying things. However if you do thats okay to each his own. 

This was the easiest and probably the healthiest pie I have ever made. Seriously. I am not joking there really isn't anything remotely close to being unhealthy for you in it. And actually after figuring out the servings 1 serving of this pie is the equivalent of 1 serving of fruit! So take that normal pumpkin pie that is amazing and delicious! 

Did I mention that you can eat this plain. Like the dough? Yea. Just the dough if you wanted too. There are no -- ZERO -- eggs in this recipe. I know your like thinking alright just tell me whats in it already. If your like me I sometimes totally just scroll to the bottom to get the recipe... * hides face * totally guilty.. Hey! But if you have 3 monkeys climbing all over you everyday all day long then sometimes scrolling through to get the recipe for what they're about to eat is A-Okay with me! :)

HERE IT IS!

Paleo Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pie

 

  • 1 can organic pumpkin
  • 2 bananas
  • 1.5 cups coconut flour
  • 2 Tbs maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup Dairy Free Chocolate Chips or cacao Chips

 

  • Parchment/ Wax Paper
  • 9x12 pan
  1. Set oven to 350 Degrees. 
  2. Mash bananas
  3. Mix Pumpkin, Bananas, Coconut flour and maple syrup together.
  4. Fold in Chocolate Chips
  5. Using your parchment paper press down pumpkin mixture into a glass pan so its even and reaches all edges of pan. 
  6. Bake in the oven for 8 minutes. 
  7. After its done, cool for 10 Minutes. And Enjoy!

ALSO! If you want to get fancy you can add Paleo Whip Cream! 

  • 1 can full fat Coconut Milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  1. Make sure to refrigerate Coconut Milk for at least 8 hours ahead of time. 
  2. Mix Coconut Milk, Vanilla and Coconut sugar together in a mixer at 8 speed for about 5 minutes so its stiff. 
  3. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. 
  4. Then serve. Make sure to refrigerate remaining.

Hope you enjoy it! 

Raw Power Salad

Raw Power Salad

Alright... its been way too long since my last blog post and I am totally sorry! To make up for that I want to give you my most favorite salad recipe! This last month has been totally crazy we vacationed in Idaho and Utah visiting family and it was a lot of fun, but I am SO relived to finally be home. 3 weeks is way too long to vacation with little ones. Its more work I would say. Living out of suitcase attempting to keep someone elses home clean while your kids destroy it all day long. Its tough work! They weren't joking when they said keeping your house clean with kids is like brushing your teeth with oreos it just doesn't work! With that being said we are home now and I've never missed SoCal more. (That says a lot for a girl who doesn't want to live here.) Living in a place where there are no seasons is tough on a girl who lives for Autumn :)  

- Also this picture is from dinner last night so if you are wondering what I had its called Sicilian Chicken Sausage from Trader Joes and yes. It was DELICIOUS. 

This salad is probably the best salad you'll ever eat for multiple reasons. But for the 2 biggest and major reasons its because 1. Its incredibly delicious. Its always important to me that food taste good and has good texture. My husband he loves good food but if something is nutritious and taste terrible he'll eat it anyways and I am just not like that at all. I love to savor the ingredients. Food definitely needs to be palatable  2. It has power foods. If you know me then you know that I am big into eating power foods. If I can eat anything that will ensure that I will get lots of vitamins via food then heck ya! I am bound to be eating it! Plus this salad has tons of ingredients that you can snack on alone! As a mom of three I am always on the go so I snack a lot of and eating power food snacks helps with just that. Being on the go. Plus I breastfeed too so I know my little dude is getting the best possible nutrition. Also this is paleo! I always like to say that although I do try to eat mostly paleo I do believe eating things in moderation is OK. 

 

Raw Power Salad

serves 3-4

  • 3 cups finely chopped kale ( stems removed and discarded)
  • 1 cup broccoli florets, finely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots peeled and shredded
  • 1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley 
  • 2 T raw sunflower seeds
  • 2 T raw sesame seeds
  • 2-3 pitted Medjool dates, chopped
  • 2-3 T fresh lemon juice
  • 1 T olive oil or coconut oil
  • 1 T Grade B Maple Syrup orhoney ( I like to do 1/2 tablespoon of both honey and syrup)
  • 1 T finely grated ginger root
  • Sea Salt to taste

In a large mixing bowl, combine the kale, broccoli, carrots, bell pepper, scallions, parsley, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds,  and dates. In a small bowl whisk together the lemon juice, olive or coconut oil, maple syrup/honey and ginger to combine. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt. Let salad stand at room temperature for at least 15 minutes before serving. 

Also! I really love adding edamame and thin coconut chips to the salad. Like I said I love texture! 

 

Let me know what you think of the salad or if you add anything different! I love changing it up!

 

Healthy snacks on the go!

Paleo Friendly Snacks on the go! 

As a mom everything in my life is ON THE GO! Seriously I can't remember the last time I wasn't busy. Whether its running errands, dropping kids off at school, taking meals to friends who aren't well I am always busy. I'm a mom of three little ones under 5 so i typically only snack. I eat 8 small meals a day ranging 200-250 calories. This may or may not work for you but sitting down to eat really doesn't work for me. Everyone must find the balance that works in their lives.  I usually keep a few of these in purse at all times. As a breastfeeding mom I am HUNGRY so being able to grab and go makes things easier for me. In the picture above are listed below:

  • Natural Delights Coconut Dates
  • Suja organic juice
  • Almonds
  • Garden of Life Raw Protein shakes single packets 
  • Apples and packs of Justin's brand almond butter
  • Quest Bar - not paleo friendly but it has low if not 0 sugars

I also love that isn't listed is:

  • Ziplock baggies of mixed berries
  • Energy balls
  • Lara Bars
  • Boiled eggs (usually eat them while still cold)
  • Fruit leathers (without added sugar of course)
  • Dried fruit (DIY is always better)
  • Veggies 
  • Dark Cacao Bars
  • Sweet potatoes chips

Eating paleo really is beneficial for your body. No matter how much I love eating foods that aren't paleo (mostly refined sugar) I always find myself going back to eating in my primal ways because it just makes me feel better. ALSO! There is an awesome documentary called We Love Paleo.  

Its a must see! About a month ago both my husband and I watched it and although I had already been living a paleo lifestyle my husband who lives a healthy lifestyle ate a bit differently, decided to go paleo! He turned 30 in February and just noticed his body was not like it use to be in his early twenties. He then went on to be seen by a doctor and the doctor herself recommend getting on the paleo diet. It was like the heavens opened up. He's now eating better and feeling better! Can't wait to see his results in the coming months. Be sure to watch the trailer and let me know what you think!  

 

 

 

 

Guilt-Free Paleo Blackberry and Lemon Zest Cheesecake

• Paleo Blackberry & Lemon Zest Cheesecake •

I bet looking at these ingredients there is no way in this world that you could make Cheesecake. Cashews, almonds, dates, coconut milk and oil, lemon and honey. Quite the combination of ingredients if I do say so myself. Little do you know that YES! Yes you can make  cheesecake. A Paleo cheesecake that is. The most delicious guilt-free smooth Cheesecake that you might ever taste! Not a single processed ingredient. Only the best! 

Paleo Cheesecake

My sweet husband loves cheesecake. It is one his favorites. With Fathers Day I knew that I needed to make something special but I couldn't decide on what it was that could make this Fathers Day a hit. I thought about how any time I had made an actual cheesecake never once did it turn out. I need something new, something that would  make our tastebuds dance but at the same time something healthy that wouldn't leave me regretting that second slice because lets get real people! Who only eats one slice of cheesecake!? 

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I scoured through online archives of something that could surpass my expectations of taste and quality ingredients but also had to look amazing! I found a few things here and there but nothing that sparked my interest. I took a chance and threw together ingredients that I hoped would taste not only great but would also mimic a real Cheesecake.

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The crust though... I am a sucker for a good crust so when I thought about the combination of almonds, date and coconut oil for a crust I was already practically drooling! I have to admit I totally snuck a taste. OMGOODNESS! Heavenly!!! If you've ever had Natural Delight Dates their coconut flavor rocks my world and this comes pretty darn close! 

I probably caught my almost 5 year old licking the rubber spatula several times because the cashew cheesecake is seriously that delicious! I love that there isn't any eggs in it because lets be honest... Who doesn't like to lick the batter of any kind of cake?! I totally hope you didn't just raise your hand ;) 

Lets talk blackberries! I could have eaten this plain. Dead serious! It took some serious willpower to drizzle this over the top of the cashew cheesecake but I would be lying if I said that I didnt leave leftovers so I could eat straight from the jar! I can't help it! I love blackberries!   Especially Lemon! The combination of blackberries, lemon and honey made want a blackberry lemonade. So amazing! 

And well it just so ends up that not only did we mimic a real Cheesecake. I feel like this recipe mastered Paleo Cheesecakes altogether. In fact I won't ever need to look for another recipe again. This became my Go To Paleo Cheesecake! Now if you dont like Blackberries or Lemon Zest the ingredients are interchangeable which is one of my favorite things about Cheesecake. It goes so well with a mass variety amounts of toppings! 

I hope you love it as much as we did if so there won't be any left over! Which is why next time I am doubling up and making T W O.  My family to yours!


Paleo blackberry lemon zest cheesecake

Crust: 
1 cup pitted dates
1/2 almonds
1 tbs coconut oil
Parchment paper
Springform pan
• Line pan with parchment paper  
• Place pitted dates and almonds In food processor and pulse till you have a sticky mixture. 
• In a small bowl fold in coconut oil
• Take parchment paper and press crust into pan then refrigerate. 

Filling:
2 1/4 cup cashews soaked over night
1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
1/2 cup organic coconut oil (room temp)
Juice of 1 lemon( keep lemon to zest) 
1 cup blackberries
3 Tbs raw honey (maple syrup or agave nectar will do.)
 

• Soak cashews overnight (or you can do my quick soak if needed sooner)
 

• Place soaked cashews, coconut milk, coconut oil, lemon juice, 2 TBS honey in food processor and pulse till smooth. 
 

• Poor mixture into springform pan over crust then refrigerate. (8 hours or overnight)
 

• Place blackberries and 1 TBS honey in food processor pulse till you have purée. 
 

• Pour blackberry and honey mixture over the cashew cheesecake when you have a 2-3 hours left of the 8 hours of refrigeration total. 
 

• Zest your lemon and sprinkle over blackberry mixture. 
 

• Serve and enjoy! 

The best snacks to eat after midnight

First off I would like to say that if you are trying to lose weight and are an avid scale tracker meaning you religiously weigh yourself every morning the odds are that your weight will look like it has gone up a few pounds so if this is you stay away from the late night snacks. Especially after midnight. I dont personally eat after 7 unless my tummy is growling. And I always try drinking tea first if I do feel hungry. However if this is not you or you have a extremely fast metabolism, you had an early dinner, you forgot to eat all together something along those lines here are some great snacks that will tide you over till morning. 

Tea

 

  • tea
  • nuts or nut butters
  • string cheese
  • warmed almond milk with a dash of cinnamon 
  • Fruit - mainly berries or apples for the low sugar content 
  • Veggies 
  • Cottage cheese

Now if your like me and a sweet tooth craving strikes either fight it or eat dark cacao chocolate! I really love Trader Joes cacao bars that they have at the registers. I usually buy the bars with highest cacao percentage. The higher you go the more bitter tasting the chocolate becomes. I want to mention that Dark Cacao Chocolate is full of antioxidants and is actually really beneficial. 85% is the highest I've ever tried it was bitter but I also added them in with a homemade trail mix of chopped almonds, medajool dates, young coconut and pretzel. 

Trail Mix

If you love ice cream I would suggest freezing a banana then putting it through a food processor. I love adding cacao powder to it for chocolate. And if you want to get fancy melt down coconut oil mix cacao powder in it then drizzle it over your banana ice cream and it turns into a chocolate shell!  One of my personal faves is using frozen berries and blending it in a food processor. It comes out ice cream consistency and totally hits the spot! Theres always a healthier alternative. 

Strawberry Ice Cream

xoxo Alexa Pettengill 

Benefits of drinking hot lemon water

Every morning after I wake up I like to fill up my tea kettle and heat up water and drink Hot Lemon water. I try to drink it as hot as I can because of the amazing benefits that come with it which I will get to in a second. I started drinking Hot Lemon water almost 8 years ago after I had talked with one of my co-workers who shared this same healthy habit. She came into work her skin was stunning I'm not just saying that either she was practically glowing! Did I mention she wore ZERO makeup!? I mean seriously! I had to ask her what her skincare regimen was and she said actually didn't use anything besides a mild soap from Clinique which had me curious if she actually had some secret skincare product that she wasn't telling anyone else about or she had phenomenal genetics. Later on I saw her filling up her water with hot water and putting lemons in it. Immediately I thought oh my gosh that sounds horrendous. I like lemons but I couldn't imagine drinking anything lemon that was hot. So I asked her what was the deal with her hot lemon water. She then told me all these awesome benefits that come with drinking hot lemon water.

At this time in my life I was just then making healthy changes to my lifestyle. My junior year of high school and also my last year because I had graduated a year early I had just started paying attention to the things I was putting into my body. I went to a high school that did not have a normal hot lunch cafeteria. They mostly offered foods full of sugar but there was the occasional fruit bowl left out. I also didn't go to a normal high school either. I went to an Art High school that was literally only a few years new. Anyways my co-worker told me one of the main reason she drank hot lemon water was because it incredibly beneficial for flushing toxins out of your body. Back then I had no idea that what you ate was a contributing factor when it came to acne. And well.. Its true the old saying  " You are what you eat " because seriously eating unhealthy is a huge result of acne. Of course genetics to play a big role as well but I know that when I ate cleaner my skin cleared up immensely. 

 

Now for the good stuff! Drinking 8 ounces of hot water with a whole squeezed lemon which you can do a half lemon if your not fond of lemon will not only flush out toxins but also does so much more for you than just that but also drinking 8 ounces of water after waking up also helps aid in digestion. 

  • Fat Flushing 
  • Hydration
  • Aid in digestion
  • Helps build alkaline 
  • Balances pH levels 
  • Can reduce wrinkles
  • Improves oral health
  • Increases weight loss
  • High amounts of Vitamin C

You can also add coconut oil to your hot lemon water, ginger, raw honey, ACV (apple cider vinegar), cayenne pepper for a good metabolism boost. Also a cool tip! The more alkaline you have in your body the less sick you will be. Bacteria, sickness, germs cannot survive in an environment that has high levels of alkaline. Thats why they say when you are sick to drink lemon and honey. I find this incredibly helpful as a mom of 3 there is no time to be sick. And if something as simple as drink hot lemon water in the morning can assist me in making sure that I am healthy then I am willing to take the time out of mornings to do this. My favorite thing about drinking hot lemon water is that when I do I do not want sugar as much.

 

Starting your day will give you the boost your body needs even if you only try this for just a couple of days I know you'll notice the benefits of such a healthy habit! 

xoxo Alexa Pettengill 

Benefits of drinking hot lemon water