Italian Vinaigrette – Detox Friendly!

Growing up, my family’s favorite vinaigrette was this powdered mix. Now I’ve found a way to replicate its simplicity and delicious Italian flavor, and make it detox friendly!

That’s right–no sugar, no GMO or non-organic ingredients, and darn tasty! Perfect poured over my Easy Satisfying Salad:

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Since everyone seems to love this sweet and savory Italian vinaigrette that I’ve been pouring all over everything lately, as per request, here is how to whip it up!

(But first, a moment for nostalgia…)

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Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons organic fresh lemon juice (a culinary tip: one lemon equals about two tablespoons lemon juice)
  • 5 Tablespoons cold-pressed Olive Oil or Avocado Oil, or blend of the two
  • 1 teaspoon Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1-2 Tablespoons water
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (this brand is a good start)
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder, or
  • 1 teaspoon dried organic italian seasoning herbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon himalayan pink or real salt
  • 4-5 drops Stevia or 1 teaspoon raw honey

Directions:

Throw all the ingredients in a bowl or blender and whisk away!

Notes:

If you’d like even more of a nutritious punch, substitute 1 medium clove of garlic, minced, and half a teaspoon of minced fresh red onion for the onion powder.

If you like to keep it quick and easy, use the powder and this dressing takes only a moment to create!

Try it on a Quinoa “pasta” Salad (recipe to follow):

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The salad pictured at top has: Fresh cherry tomatoes, chopped romaine lettuce, shredded carrot, diced avocado, raw sunflower seeds and a sprinkling of nutritional yeast for B-Vitamins, and a lil’ extra boost of energy! All organic, always.

Things to Know About “Stevia-sweetened” Chocolate, and Erythritol

Finding a delicious, dairy-free, sugar-free, chocolate bar that doesn’t use artificial sweeteners can be tough!

That’s why I’m so happy to share the best options I’ve found for a sugarfree sweet-tooth fix:

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But first:

What You Should Know About “Stevia-Sweetened” Products:

Most “stevia-sweetened” products available on the market right now are actually primarily sweetened with Erythritol, a sugar-alcohol, which does not spike blood sugar. This Erythritol is most often produced using GMO-Corn–full of pesticides, insecticides, and mutated genes–which should absolutely be avoided, 100%, by anyone following a conscious, cleansing diet.

However, non-GMO versions of this sweetener are much safer and healthier than the alternativesHere is and interesting article on Erythritol, what it is, and how it’s made.

Coco Polo (pictured above) has taken the steps to use Non-GMO Erythritol to sweeten their chocolate, in addition to Stevia. What’s also great is that they’ve left out the hard-to-digest and highly-addictive dairy in their dark chocolate bars (unlike Lily’s, the only other stevia/erythritol-sweetened brand I’ve found and tested so far).

Did I mention these options are delicious!?

My favorite options presently for sugarfree chocolate are:

1.  Homemade! (Coconut Oil, Stevia, Cacao, Vanilla, Sea Salt. Mix ‘n pop in your freezer for some yummy homemade chocolate!)

2.  Rox Chox (Raw, and sweetened with non-GMO Birch-tree Xylitol)

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3.  Coco Polo’s Dark Chocolate or Almond Bar

4.  Lily’s Dark or Almond Chocolate Bar

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*As with any indulgence, I do not recommend consuming products sweetened with Erythritol on a regular basis–just as a special treat!

Enjoy!

Raw Snacks: Lightweight, Energizing Hiking-Food

Raw foods are my favorite snacks to bring with me on days I have a lot to do, as well as long days hiking.

So, I’m always looking to try new brands and products to find the most delicious and most inspiring raw snacks out there.

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Today, when I stopped by Sunshine Foods in St. Helena today to pick up a Coco Polo stevia chocolate bar for a candy bar recipe (delicious, exciting!), I picked up these yummy new raw crackers to bring hiking.

They’re the best tasting raw crackers I’ve tried so far. I love the sunflower seed/spirulina combo for the chlorophyll, sustaining healthy fats, and protein. Inspiring!

I also grabbed a bag of Pachamama Raw Kale Chips.

cheeepsAnother lightweight, high-energy hiking snack! Really, though, I just needed a crunchy snack and vegetables at the same time. Solutions!

I still love the Quite Cheezy Kale Chips by Kaia Foods more (copycat recipe coming soon), but these were tangy and delicious–so much so I might’ve eaten the whole bag…

It’s important to stay hydrated when you eat dehydrated foods, so I try to make it interesting.

My New Favorite Hydrating Beverage:

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Bragg’s Sweet Stevia Apple Cider Vinegar Drink. Nutritious, balancing, and energizing.

Did I mention it’s a brilliant immune-boost, too?

Today I made my own by filling up the old bottle with about 2 Tablespoons of Raw Apple Cider Vinegar, and just enough Stevia to make it sweet. I filled the bottle to the top with ice cold water and kept it in the fridge until I left the house. Ice cold, refreshing, and so. good. 

And this afternoon, I made and enjoyed this:

image (46)Raw Cacao Mousse with Maca–Low-Glycemic, High-Protein, Vegan, Energizing, Anti-Oxidizing,  and unfairly delicious.

The perfect afternoon pick-me-up.

This Raw Cacao Mousse is amazing as a dessert (impresses any guest), and still healthy and sustaining enough to be eaten for breakfast!

Recipe coming soon.

Sunny hiking to you, and Enjoy!

The. Best. Stevia.

Stevia is my favorite 100% sugar-free sweetener.

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But, you have to buy the right kind or it’s just plain terrible!

Stevia Rebaudiana is a sweet-tasting plant (sugar-free) native to South America. The compounds in the stevia leaf that taste sweet are called steviol glycosides, and provide a range of sweet and bitter-sweet flavors.

The Healthiest way to consume Stevia is in its whole form, as powdered green leaf.

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However….

The most delicious way to consume Stevia, in my experience, is with the following brand:

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NuNaturals Stevia. Check your local grocery store for the pure NuNaturals extract (powdered or liquid) to get the sweetest (never bitter) Stevia on the market. You can also check out NuNaturals’ website.

This makes a great sweetener for just about anything. It takes very little to make things sweet and is never bitter or licorice-y tasting.

Enjoy!