Blog

Boost Your Gut Health with this No-Bake Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake

No Bake Vegan Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake
 
Probiotic-rich foods are one of the most important things we can consume. After all, the gut is home to around 70-80% of our body's immune system in the form of an army of friendly microflora – there are trillions of beneficial bacteria living in a healthy gut. The benefits of consuming probiotics reach far and wide - they promote more complete digestion, help eliminate indigestion and stomach bloat, and keep unhealthy bacteria in check so we're less likely to fall ill, to name just a few. 

And if you're looking for a dessert that's friendly on digestion this is it - a dairy-free, gluten-free, refined sugar-free, nutrient-rich cheesecake that contains a generous amount of gut-friendly probiotics from cultured coconut yogurt and Sunbiotics organic probiotics to help replenish the digestive system. It also contains healthy fats from whole coconut butter to stabilize blood sugar, and contains very minimal sugar in general - there's just a little over ¼ cup maple syrup and seven dates in the entire cake.  The texture is decadent (so silky and rich!), the flavors are refreshing (lemon! Berries!), and eating a slice (okay, maybe two slices...) won't weigh you down or get in the way of your sunny springtime adventures. 

We hope you end up sharing your own cheesecake masterpiece with friends and loved ones this spring!

The Recipe

No-Bake Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake

Makes 1, 6” x 2-3/4” springform pan

Filling Ingredients

1.5 cups cashew nuts, soaked
 
1 cup unsweetened Natural COYO

1/2 cup melted Dastony Stone Ground Coconut Butter (not coconut oil, use whole coconut butter)

1/4 cup + 1 Tbs real maple syrup

1 inch of vanilla bean – the whole pod*

Juice of 1 lemon – about 1/4 cup

3 drops therapeutic grade lemon essential oil ** (or use the zest from one organic lemon)

½ cup fresh raspberries
 

Crust Ingredients

3/4 cup walnuts

1/2 cup blanched almond flour

7 medjool dates

1 tbsp of coconut oil, melted

1 tsp lemon juice

1/8 tsp salt
 
Topping (optional but a nice touch) - Rawmio Raw Chocolate Hearts

*if you do not own a high-speed blender, scrape the vanilla beans from the pod as the pod itself may be a
a bit too tough for the blender to break down fully.

**use therapeutic grade, organically produced lemon oil ONLY. Not all EO is of the same caliber, and
most are not safe to ingest.

Steps

Crust

1. In a blender or food processor, pulse ingredients together until they break down and bind together. You'll
want to be able to take a spoonful, squish it together, and have it hold its shape. Make sure all of
the dates are broken down as they are what help bind the crust.

2. Scoop crust into the bottom of a springform pan, and press evenly along the bottom only.

Filling

1. Soak cashews for at least 4-6 hours to soften. They can also be soaked overnight to prep for the next
day. Drain and rinse thoroughly after soaking.

2. Combine all ingredients except lemon oil and coconut butter in a blender carafe (preferably high speed
like Vitamix or Blendtec) and blend on a medium-high setting until very smooth – about 30 seconds.

3. Add gently melted coconut butter and lemon oil and blend again. The reasoning for adding these last is
the heat generated from blending may alter the flavor of these two ingredients. Adding the coconut butter
last also helps give the filling a more fluffy consistency.

Assembly

1. Pour filling over crust in a springform pan

2. Take fresh raspberries and place them on top of the filling, then with clean fingers or a utensil carefully push
them down into the filling so that they are completely submerged.

3. Place cake in the fridge to set for at least 1 hour. Store leftovers in the fridge. Cheesecake may also be
frozen but should be left to unthaw before serving for best flavor and consistency

Seasonal Allergies Got You Down? Why Gut Health is Key!

Spring Allergies and Gut Health
Photo by Jessica Lewis from Pexels
It’s that time of year when the seasons are changing and spring is in the air...literally! There are things like pollen, grass, trees, and weeds that all contribute to seasonal allergies. Seasonal allergies are a common struggle for many. I, too, can relate because I also used to experience the frustrating effects of pollen! But now, I no longer have seasonal allergies AT ALL! You may be wondering, “how is this possible?”
 
I’ll start by saying that the elimination of my allergy symptoms did not come from taking a pill or any sort of medication. In fact, when I had bad allergies, I used to take Zyrtec D daily, yet I would still experience allergy symptoms! It was when I stopped taking the pills and started making lifestyle changes, like my diet, that I noticed the change. As a holistic nutritionist, I believe in taking a holistic approach to health and getting to the root of the problem versus just focusing on symptoms. I believe that allergies are simply a symptom of the body being out of balance.
 
Our immune system plays a key role in fighting off these allergy symptoms. About 70% of our immune system is housed in the gut, so if our gut is out of balance, so is our immune system, thus causing these symptoms from seasonal allergies. A lack of diversity in the gut microbiome is also associated with allergies. Incorporating pre and probiotic foods in your diet, along with taking probiotics, can help with this.
 
If you suffer from seasonal allergies, I recommend eating a plant-focused diet. Plant foods will provide loads of nutrients to your body and will help tremendously with allergies. By eating more plants, you are helping support your immune function by creating a healthy environment that helps regulate your inflammatory response. This will help naturally fight off allergy symptoms. Below are some foods and supplements I suggest incorporating into your diet regularly to help boost your immune system. These will help reduce and can even eliminate those nasty seasonal allergy symptoms!
 
● Omega 3 rich foods: wild salmon, chia seeds, flax, hemp seeds, walnuts
● Antioxidant-rich foods: raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries (try to pick organic berries as conventional berries tend to contain an unhealthy dose of pesticides)
● Vitamin D: Getting outside in the sun is great, but since most of us typically don’t get enough Vitamin D, incorporating a D3 supplement is also beneficial.
● Nutritional yeast: It’s been shown to boost the immune system and contains numerous nutrients like fiber, B vitamins, protein, zinc and more. It typically comes in flakes, granules, or powder-like form and can be added to anything. Pasta is my favorite food to add it to, but I also add it to eggs, salads, etc., really anything I want a cheesy flavor on. You can find this at most health food stores or online/Amazon.

● Local Honey/Bee Pollen: Eating local honey or bee pollen can help prevent allergies, this is because you are ingesting the local pollen so it helps your body acclimate to the environment, and over time you become less sensitive to the pollen.
● Spirulina: It is a blue-green algae that naturally detoxifies the body, supports immune function, and acts as a histamine blocker. You can add spirulina to your smoothies and can buy it at most health food stores or online/Amazon.
● Probiotics: These help to balance the gut microbiome with good bacteria. Daily stressors, both environmental and internal, as well as the use and abuse of antibiotics, disrupt the balance of bacteria in the digestive system. Check out SunBiotics probiotic supplements and probiotic almonds here. I suggest the cheesy almonds because they contain nutritional yeast too!

Remember spring IS in the air, so don’t let those pesky allergies get in your way! Take charge of your health and get on with celebrating this season of warmer weather and new growth!

About the Author

Jenna Johnson is a Certified Holistic Nutritionist and founder and creator of The Scrounge, a lifestyle brand that began with her love of food and ‘making more with less’ in her home kitchen. Through working with clients 1-on-1, social media content, virtual cooking classes, workshops, and events, Jenna is shifting people’s mindset of healthy cooking to an approachable style called “Scrounging” – using the food you already have at home to create a meal. Jenna is passionate about taking the complication out of cooking and eating healthy. She believes food is medicine and that nutrition and home cooking shouldn’t be stressful, but rather a fun and positive experience. Jenna’s “scrounging” style of cooking has expanded from kitchens of friends, family, and colleagues to hundreds of people around the world. She encourages everyone to get creative with what they have at home and not to be afraid of not having all of the ingredients listed in a recipe. Jenna’s passion for healthy cooking and helping others led her to pursue a career in nutrition. Now, as a Certified Holistic Nutritionist specializing in gut health, she focuses on helping women eliminate chronic stomach issues without medication. Jenna’s own experience with gut issues led her to help others with these same struggles. Jenna’s goal is to help others get their life back and live life to the fullest without the stress and anxiety of stomach pain.

Minimize Waste! The 7 Waste-Reducing Tips You Need to Try

7 Waste Reducing Tips You Need to Try

Photo by Benjamin Brunner on Unsplash

From reusable water bottles to bringing your own grocery bags, some zero waste tips are common practice. Those of you that have been making an effort to minimize waste for a while may be craving more creative solutions. In that case, these fresh waste-reducing tips are for you. New to minimizing waste? Don’t worry. These tips can work for everyone!

Plant Decor

The next time you are looking for décor to spruce up your home or for a low waste gift idea, go green with a plant. Plants reduce stress and purify the air, all while helping you minimize your waste output since they won’t go to the landfill like most decor eventually does. If you find you and your plant really aren’t vibing, they can be planted outside (climate zone dependent), regifted, sold, or composted as a last resort.

Say No

Sometimes saving the environment is as simple as saying “No, thank you.” And one easy way to do this is to skip the promotional items the next time they are offered to you. These items tend to get very little use, break easily, and inevitably end up in the landfill. If you already have a drawer overflowing with these types of items, see if you can find a place to donate them. Many community art programs are more than happy to receive extra pens, notepads, highlighters, erasers, etc.—even if they have some branding on them.

Homemade Snacks

When the mid-day munchies hit, you may find yourself reaching for a snack. However, many of these quick snacks come with more than an energy boost—they also have unnecessary wrapping. Luckily, you can easily avoid the wrappers by making your own snacks. As a bonus, homemade snacks like granola bars and cookies tend to be healthier than their store-bought counterparts. Try shopping for ingredients in bulk with your own refillable containers to reduce as much waste as possible. Buy things like nut butters in glass jars and reuse the jars for storing personal care items or office supplies. Have a snack recipe that calls for fruit? Check out the produce that is marked down because it is close to spoiling. You won’t have to wait for the fruit to ripen and you’ll save some money, all while helping to reduce food waste.

Food Scraps

Composting is an excellent way to reduce the waste you produce, but you may want to try reusing those food scraps before you reach for the compost bin. Reusing food scraps helps you get the most out of food before tossing it and can also be a great way to get kids interested in reducing waste. You may want to try orange peels dipped in dark chocolate. They pair great with apple tea brewed from boiling apple peels and cores. Want to do something with scraps beyond snacks? Use a banana peel to polish plant leaves or soak a few peels in water for a couple of days to make natural plant fertilizer.

Rentals

If you find yourself needing a tool for a project or that pregnancy has you outgrowing your clothes, it doesn’t necessarily mean you need a shopping trip. Instead, you may want to try renting these items. For example, many home hardware stores offer tool rentals by the day or hour, so you can skip the wasteful packaging and avoid buying something you will minimally use. Then there are several online clothing rental places that offer maternity clothes so you don’t have to buy a temporary wardrobe. Once the baby is born, you may want to continue the renting trend by subscribing to a toy lending library instead of buying new.

Speak Up

Sometimes you can minimize waste by making a simple request, so don’t be afraid to speak up. This may mean asking the cashier if a receipt needs to be printed, requesting a shipped order to have minimal packaging material, telling the waiter you don’t need a straw with your drink, etc. If you see that your favorite restaurant has a specific wasteful habit (ex. using plastic stir sticks), you may want to write an email offering a less wasteful solution (compostable wooden stir sticks). Just be sure to keep your tone friendly. Remember, the worst they can say is that they can’t make that change. On the other hand, your email may push them toward a less wasteful solution.

Party Supplies

An eco-friendly party can still be fun and memorable—perhaps even more so! The next time a birthday or wedding rolls around, skip any wasteful decor like balloons and streamers and take a less wasteful approach. This could look like making a centerpiece by decorating an existing plant you own with lights or foraging for greenery to put in a vase. Planning a meal? Skip the plastic cups and plates and go with real dishware. If you don’t have enough, see if you can borrow some from friends or rent some from a party supply store. Another option is to grab dishware and utensils at a secondhand store and re-donate them when the event is over.

Conclusion

Sometimes the best waste-reducing solutions are a bit offbeat, so don’t be afraid to think outside of the box when looking to minimalize your impact. Reducing waste is a slow process, and we need every little bit of creativity to push us toward a less wasteful future.

Author Bio

Shannon Bergstrom is a LEED Green Associate, TRUE waste advisor. She currently works at RTS, a tech-driven waste and recycling management company, as a sustainability operations manager. Shannon consults with clients across industries on sustainable waste practices and writes for Zero Waste.

This Matcha Pistachio Butter Shake is Heavenly

Vegan Matcha Pistachio Butter Shake

It's officially spring, which means smoothie season is finally here. No longer do you have to put on an extra coat and huddle up next to the heater to enjoy your favorite icy blends. This recipe is simple to make and is so delicious - it's really more like a milkshake than a smoothie in terms of taste, but the ingredients are all plant-based and healthy, so it can be enjoyed any time of the day. 

If you haven't yet had the pleasure of trying our new Pistachio Nut Butter, run, don't walk, and grab a jar (or 5 - you'll be happy you did ...). This unique nut butter is like heaven in a jar - it's hard to believe that something with just 1 single ingredient could be so decadent and satisfying. Adding a heaping tablespoon to this recipe brings an incredible creaminess and sweet nutty flavor that works perfectly with the matcha, vanilla, frozen banana, and coconut water. We think it's safe to say this nut butter will elevate just about any smoothie recipe you make with it. 
 
Since this shake contains matcha, it makes a great breakfast shake, especially for those days when you need a little extra pep in your step. Toss in some vanilla protein powder to transform it into the perfect pre or post-workout fuel. 
 
We hope you love it!
 
Vegan Matcha Pistachio Butter Shake

The Recipe 

Matcha Pistachio Butter Shake
 
Serves 1
 
Ingredients
 
1 large frozen banana (or 1.5 small)
12 oz coconut water (we love Harmless Harvest)
1 heaping Tbs coconut cream (can be omitted) 
1 tsp matcha powder
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup ice
 
Steps
 
1) Blend until creamy dreamy. Serve with cacao nibs on top. 

These Raw Chocolate Hazelnut Truffles are Rich, Decadent and Guilt-Free

Do you find yourself craving a dark chocolate fix on the daily? If so then being able to whip up your own drool-worthy chocolate confections at home can be a life saver. And it doesn't have to involve complicated steps or ingredients. In fact, you can make a batch of decadent raw chocolate hazelnut truffles with only 4 main ingredients. Yes, only 4!

These truffles can be made with any of your favorite Rawmio raw chocolate Essentials bars - orange, mint, 70% dark, 85% dark, or Keto. The steps involve finely chopping the chocolate bars, then gently melting the pieces together with Rawmio Chocolate Hazelnut Spread until liquid, stirring in some coconut milk and a dash of vanilla (and Himalayan salt if you like), then letting the mixture set for just a few minutes in the fridge to firm up. Once it begins to harden you can use a tablespoon, cookie scoop, or melon ball scoop to form your truffle mixture into balls.

This recipe makes 1 dozen truffles, so store any extras in the fridge or freezer so you always have a little somethin' to sink those teeth into when the late-night chocolate cravings hit.

The Recipe

Raw Chocolate Hazelnut Truffles

Makes roughly 1 dozen 

Ingredients

7 Rawmio Essentials bars, chopped finely
2 tbs Rawmio chocolate hazelnut spread - either Toasted Hazelnut or Chocolate Hazelnut
1/4 cup coconut cream
1/4 tsp vanilla extract 
a pinch of Himalayan salt (optional) 

1/4 cup raw cacao powder (for coating)

Directions

1) Start by chopping chocolate Essentials bars into very small pieces - the more finely chopped the chocolate the quicker it will melt.

2) Using a double boiler method, melt the chocolate pieces together with the Rawmio spread in a heat-safe bowl, being mindful not to overheat.

3) Stir in your coconut cream, vanilla, and optional salt, stirring gently until well combines.

4) Cover and let the mixture set in the fridge for 1 hour to harden.

5) Use a small cookie scoop, melon ball scoop, or a tablespoon to make tablespoon-sized balls. Roll the balls in between the palms of your hands until evenly formed (or close to it). Sprinkle some cacao powder on a plate and roll your finished truffles in it to coat them. You can also use hemp seeds, cacao nibs, or crushed hazelnuts for another alternative. 

Store in the fridge for several weeks or freezer for up to a month Enjoy! 

7 Ways to Uplevel Your Smoothies (and Reduce the Sugar!)

 

7 Ways to Uplevel Your Smoothies (and Reduce the Sugar!)

Smoothies can be an easy and delicious way to pack in a serious amount of nutrition without having to give it too much thought. Not only that, but they're portable and easy to drink on the move, and also make nutritious meal replacements for days you may be particularly short on time. That being said, there is an art to making smoothies that are both pleasing to the taste buds and also have a balanced nutrition profile. For instance, a smoothie that contains just frozen fruit, bananas, and milk might have some vitamins, but it is high in sugar and low in healthy fats, protein, and trace minerals - it isn't very nourishing and may leave you hungry shortly afterward. On the other hand, a smoothie packed full of green superfoods, nut butter, and nutrient-rich, lower sugar alternatives will have a completely different effect on your overall energy levels and daily nutrient intake. 

Here are some top ways you can seriously level-up your smoothies!

Swap out the 'nanas

Bananas may be a smoothie shop staple, lending both creaminess and sweetness, but it turns out they're not required to make a smoothie thick and delicious. Both steamed sweet potato and avocado can be used as lower sugar alternatives - they'll thicken up the texture just like bananas and their relatively neutral flavor profile means they can be used in many different recipes. Try freezing them first, especially if your other smoothie ingredients are fresh (not frozen). Just make sure the sweet potato is steamed (or baked) and peeled first before freezing for the best and creamiest results.

Go nuts!

Nut butter shouldn't be confined to just sandwiches and toast - they're absolutely amazing in smoothies too. Not only do they make the texture and flavor more creamy and rich, but they're also chock full of healthy fats and protein, which means your blood sugar will be more stable after drinking your smoothie, even if you add higher sugar fruits like banana. Almond butter and coconut butter are always classic, fool-proof picks, or try pistachio butter or hemp seed butter for a more exotic pick. 

Check out all 17 Dastony stone-ground nut and seeds butters HERE

Superfood power

One of the easiest ways to amp up the nutritional value of your smoothies is to toss in some superfood powders. Try a high-quality green powder like Vitamineral Green or Pure Synergy - these options give you a huge bang for your buck because they contain many different superfoods in 1 product. They're also highly concentrated, so just a few tsp is enough to give you a serious nutritional boost. You could also blend in medicinal mushrooms, adaptogens, matcha powder, maca root, a superfood berry blend, or anything else of your choosing. The goal is to sneak in even more trace nutrients and antioxidants without having to fuss too much over it. 

Sneak in the greens 

While it may be challenging to sit down and get through a huge bowl of dark leafy greens, that same quantity of greens can be blended right into a smoothie and drank with ease. If you find yourself slacking in the greens department, this is one of the easiest ways to ensure you're getting plenty of green leafy goodness. The result is a flood of vitamins and trace minerals, extra fiber, and tons of antioxidants to fuel your day. Baby spinach is a great, mild-tasting green to start with, or try raw kale - just be sure it's de-stemmed first as the stems are very fibrous and will result in a funky texture.

Pump up the protein 

Long gone are the days when adding a vegan protein powder to your smoothie meant sacrificing both taste and texture (we're talking to you chalky-tasting and indigestible soy protein ...). Now there are plenty of amazing plant-based options that are organic, additive-free, easy to digest, and are also soy-free, and allergen friendly. If you're searching for a new protein option, Sprout Living makes a variety of plant proteins enhanced with functional superfoods - and they taste like real food, don't contain any added sugars, and the texture is silky-smooth. 

Just a pinch of salt 

Quite possibly the number one tip for making flavors pop - adding a pinch of salt. This step might not come intuitively if you're blending something sweet, but adding just a pinch of high-quality Himalayan salt will bring forward the flavors of your smoothie, as well as infuse your recipe with valuable trace minerals. Just don't go overboard - a small pinch will do. 

A touch of vanilla

Another flavor-enhancing tip, especially for those looking to cut down on sugar, is to use just a touch of vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste. This is a great hack to trick your taste buds into thinking they're getting something sweet and dessert-like even if the overall sugar content in your smoothie is quite low. For instance, if you're using frozen berries, some sugar-free almond milk, and sweet potato or frozen avocado instead of banana - adding a little vanilla will go a long way to make it more taste-bud-friendly!

Reusable Water Filters: 5 Reasons Why They Are Essential

Reusable Water Filters: 5 Reasons Why They Are Essentials

Photo by Julia Zolotova from Pexels

We all know this to be true: drinking plenty of water is great for your health. While having an at-home water filter is definitely recommended, having one that can travel with you wherever life takes you is also incredibly handy, especially if you're looking to cut down on single-use plastic. This portable vessel will help keep you hydrated wherever you go. All you need to do is refill the bottle with fresh water whenever you get to a potable water source.

Reusable water filters, such as those from Big Berkey Water Filters, are quickly gaining popularity. They're not only economical but also incredibly convenient. Also, they reduce the environmental pollution caused by plastic bottles, a major environmental concern. 

Here are five essential benefits of reusable water filters:

Removes Contaminants

Water carries many harmful substances, and drinking contaminated water dilutes (pun intended) the health benefits that we can gain from drinking more water. Reusable water filters remove contaminants dissolved in water. These toxic substances may leak into water pipes during flooding seasons or when pipes experience mechanical damages.

Harmful contaminants found in water include heavy metals, such as lead, gold, and silver. Other chemicals include chlorine, organic compounds, pesticides, and inorganic fertilizers. Besides that, tap water might contain microbial organisms like viruses, fungi, and bacteria. You can filter out these substances with your portable water filters. The vessels are fitted with water purification systems, such as activated carbon filters, to remove unwanted and harmful substances. By drinking clean, purified water you help set a foundation for good health. 

Protects the Environment 

Reusable water filters have great environmental benefits. Single-use plastic bottles are wreaking havoc on the environment. They are among the biggest global pollutants, which are quickly filling up landfills. Regrettably, many disposable plastics make their way into bodies of water which harms the ecosystem and aquatic life.

Using a reusable water filter shows your concern for the environment. Having a refillable vessel eliminates the need for purchasing bottled water altogether. Think about the number of bottled waters you drink every day during summer. The figure can be astonishing. By using a reusable bottle, you reduce the number of plastic bottles going into landfills and the oceans. The positive change starts with each one of us. 

Cost Saving

The bottled water industry has been growing strong over the past few decades. Projections indicate that the industry could get to US$334 billion in net worth by 2023. Bottled water is the world's largest packed beverage. Beyond the environmental impact, this is a clear indication that people spend a lot of money on bottled water.

Paying a few dollars on water may not look like a big deal. But, it is very costly because these small bucks can amount to huge sums over time. With a reusable bottle, you spend money once – only when purchasing it. Although the initial purchasing costs can be high, they will be recovered in no time since you will have eliminated your need to buy bottled water from the store.

Improves Taste and Smell

Unfiltered water often has unpleasant smells and tastes. This is due to impurities and chemicals contained in the water. Using a reusable filter is an easy remedy to the problem.

A reusable bottle contains a filtration system that removes unwanted substances. The substances notorious for causing bad aftertaste and smell in water are heavy metals, microorganisms, and pesticides. Chlorine is used as a water purification compound, but it also has a strong chemical smell reminiscent of a swimming pool. You can resolve this problem with your reusable water filter. It will make your water sweet and enjoyable to drink.

Convenience and Keeps your Drinking Habits in Check

Another important benefit of reusable filters is that they offer you incredible convenience. The vessel contains a complete water purification system. And, you'll be carrying this essential system with you wherever you go. The portable filter gives you control over what you are drinking. Even when you refill the bottle from a tap at the gym or work, you are confident that the water you are drinking is clean and safe.

If you want to attain optimal physical health and fitness at home, a reusable water filter can help you achieve it. Drinking the recommended amount of water in a day is essential to your overall health and wellness. Experts agree that we should be drinking at least 3 liters of water every day. Most reusable bottles are calibrated to help you determine the amount of fluids you are consuming.

Drinking water from a reusable filter ensures that you are taking safe water at all times and in the right amounts. The vessel is convenient because it improves the taste and smell of water while preserving the environment. If you are not using a reusable water filter yet, order one or two today and enjoy clean water every day.

Love Your Body with this Lemony Roasted Beet Tahini Dressing

Lemony Roasted Beet Tahini Dressing

While Valentine's Day may look like snuggling up with your sweetie and some chocolate-covered strawberries, it might also look like carving out a little extra time for some intentional self-care - like cooking a nourishing meal for yourself made with love. Eating well is one of the most loving things we can do for ourselves - by giving our body the proper nutrition we are able to have the energy and health it requires to live our best life and keep working towards our dreams. We're all worthy of that!

This vibrant dressing will definitely make eating your greens a joy - it's creamy and lemony with a pop of garlic and cumin. The sweetness from the roasted beet helps balance out the slight bitterness of the sesame tahini, and it also gives the dressing a vibrant pink color which will really help dress up your salads and bowls, or your Instagram feed if you decide to take a pic. It's full of healthy fats and calcium from sesame seeds, and the beets add additional fiber and folate (vitamin B9), manganese, potassium, iron, and vitamin C. It's a fun and colorful variation of your classic tahini dressing we hope you love!

Lemony Roasted Beet Tahini Dressing

The Recipe

Lemony Roasted Beet Tahini Dressing

Ingredients

1 cup Dastony raw sesame tahini

1/2 cup chopped beet, roasted (about 2 small beets

1/2 cup + 1 tbs lemon juice

1 cup filtered water

2 tsp toasted sesame oil

2 cloves fresh garlic

1 tsp Himalayan pink salt

3/4 tsp cumin

Instructions

1. Preheat your oven to 425F. Prep your beets by scrubbing and peeling, then chop in wedges and roast with avocado oil for 30-40 minutes until tender when poked with a fork. 


2. Blend the roasted beet and all remaining ingredients in a blender or a food processor until smooth and creamy. If you prefer a thinner dressing add a few spoonfuls of water until the desired consistency is reached. 

Serve the dressing over mixed greens, with roasted veggies, or as a sauce over a hearty rice or quinoa bowl. You can also use it as a sandwich spread - just add less water for a thicker consistency. This dressing will keep up to a week in an airtight glass container in the fridge.

The Perfect Treat for Valentine's Day: Raw Chocolate Avocado Mousse

Valentine's Day Raw Chocolate Avocado Mousse

This Raw Chocolate Avocado Mousse is not only a great option for a special V-Day treat, but it's also one of the easiest and tastiest dessert recipes imaginable perfect for just about any time - especially if you're a lover of all things dark chocolate. This creamy and rich chocolate mousse leaves nothing for want. Yes, it's made with superfood-status ingredients like fresh avocado and our 70% dark raw chocolate bars, but it still manages to excel in the decadence department with its creamy, rich texture and impressive flavor that truly is like a traditional chocolate mousse - only without the refined sugar, whipping cream and eggs.

We know what you're probably saying - "Stop right there. You said avocado?" Yep, you heard right!

Before you start visualizing a bowl of chocolate-flavored guacamole, hear us out.

Avocados may be delicious in savory recipes - but their richness, creaminess, and naturally buttery texture are all qualities that are completely dessert friendly-too. Avocados are what make this chocolate mousse smooth, thick, pudding-y, and completely decadent. And thanks to this versatile green fruit (yep, avos are a fruit!) this recipe is also loaded with healthy fats, fiber, and plenty of vitamins as well.

And the health benefits don't end there. Since this mousse is made with raw cacao and raw chocolate, it's also packed full of antioxidant flavonols and magnesium as well, two nutrients that support a healthy cardiovascular system, so you can nourish your physical heart while you express your love.

Valentine's Day Raw Chocolate Avocado Mousse

The Recipe

Raw Chocolate Avocado Mousse

Serves 4

3 medium avocados - make sure they’re soft but not overripe
2/3 cup raw cacao powder
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup coconut cream
3 70% dark raw chocolate Essentials bars, melted *Leave a few sections out to chop and sprinkle on top
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 large pinches Himalayan salt

Instructions 


1. Using a double boiler method, gently melt the 70% raw chocolate by breaking apart the bars and placing it in a heat-safe bowl over hot water. Be sure to leave out a few sections to chop and sprinkle on top for garnish.

2. Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender, and blend until smooth and mousse-like. If using a blender place your liquid ingredients in the blender first to help the blades catch. Add a splash more coconut cream if needed. 

Easy Stovetop Vegan Coconut Rice Pudding

Vegan Coconut Rice Pudding

Not sure what to do with all that leftover rice from last night's stirfry? We've got the perfect solution: make a delicious vegan coconut rice pudding! It's soft, creamy, and custardlike - without using dairy or eggs. And the best part ... it can be eaten for dessert or breakfast. In fact, it's a great sub for oatmeal if you find yourself bored with your usual hot cereal recipe. It's loaded with the flavors of coconut, cinnamon, and vanilla and is such a cozy, comforting-yet-healthy treat for chilly winter days.

You can also easily customize this recipe - use your favorite spices and plant milk of choice. The stone-ground coconut butter melts into the rice and almond milk while it's cooking, giving it that ultra-creamy texture and deliciously sweet coconut flavor - no coconut milk needed. Top with your choice of fruits or drizzle with nut butter or chocolate sauce (if desired). Don't be afraid to put your own spin on it!

Vegan Coconut Rice Pudding

The Recipe

Stovetop Vegan Coconut Rice Pudding

Serves 3

Ingredients

12 oz unsweetened almond milk
1.5 cups cooked white jasmine rice*
2 heaped Tbs Dastony stone ground coconut butter
2.5 Tbs maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Dash or two of cinnamon

Optional: Dash of cardamom and/or nutmeg

*We recommend white jasmine rice over other types of white rice because it has a very delicate, floral taste which lends well to sweet recipes like this one.

Instructions

1. Place almond milk, cooked rice, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and maple syrup in a small pot and bring to a low boil. 

2. Reduce heat and let simmer on medium-low heat for about 7 minutes, stirring continuously so the rice doesn't stick to the bottom and burn.

3. Add coconut butter, stir well, and continue to cook for 3 more minutes while stirring. 

Top with fresh fruit, shredded coconut, nuts and seeds, or anything your heart desires! Can be kept in the fridge and re-heated with a little splash of nut milk to make it creamy again.