Super Vitality Truffles

Compassion for animals is intimately associated with goodness of character, and it may be confidently asserted that he who is cruel to animals cannot be a good man.
— Arthur Schopenhauer

So, whenever Todd and I fly we usually bring a lot of yummy, travel-friendly vegan food. I am sure you do too. Vegans in the house raise your hands to the heavens and can I get a soulful "Uhhhh Huhhhh!" You know what I mean. Good Buddha, there just ain't no tasty food to be found! Unless you want to be buying a severely under or over ripe $6 banana, you better be packing food yourself. It's a shame. I know there are some exceptions though. I even heard LAX has it's very own vegan restaurant! 

We aren't flying through LAX...poo... 

Thus, I made us some super healthy & nutritious Vitality Truffles! Normally our goto travel snacks are my Birdseed Cookies and banana chips. But this time, I wanted something a bit more healthful. These little guys have no added sugars or sweeteners, no added oils, and use only whole food ingredients. They have the texture of a coarse fudge and they're fun to customize too. I made mine an "Apple Spice Cinnamon" by adding in half a tea bags contents. 

Produce On Parade - Super Vitality Truffles

This is a great recipe for substituting in what you like and what you have on hand. If you don't like a particular nut, seed, or fruit...just use what you do enjoy! Be adventurous!

Produce On Parade - Super Vitality Truffles
Produce On Parade - Super Vitality Truffles

Will you take a gander below? Look at all those amazing, nutritious little beasties who are going to somehow seriously pump you up to be squeezed into a middle seat with two nine foot Texans on either side of you, a surly teenager incessantly kicking your seat from behind, and a booger-flinging-eye-staring-contest-bratface turned around, bug eyed in front of you. I know it's going to happen. I'm prepared. "Om, om, om...*munch munch*"

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Super Vitality Truffles
Bites of super vitality! These little guys have no added sugars or sweeteners, no added oils, and use only whole food ingredients. They have the texture of a coarse fudge.
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup whole walnuts
  • 1/2 cup whole pecans
  • 6 whole Brazil nuts
  • 1/3 heaping cup ground flax seed
  • 1/3 cup cup sesame seeds
  • ¼ cup dried goji berries
  • ¼ cup dried blueberries
  • ¼ cup coconut flakes, unsweetened
  • ¼ cup cocoa nibs
  • 2 Tbsp. chia seeds
  • Half the contents of an Apple Cinnamon Spice teabag (optional or ½ Tbsp. of favorite tea leaves)
  • 6 (about ½ cup) pitted dates
  • 6 (about ½ cup) dried figs
  • ¼ tsp. xanthan gum
  • Dash of kosher salt
In a food processor, add the pecans through and including the tea. Process until granular and the sides begin to stick and turn heavy. Now, add the remaining ingredients and process for about five minutes, scraping down the sides as needed. The dough should be very well combined and sticky. It should hold together when pressed.Form into bite size balls. Some oil from the nuts might be expelled onto your hands, and if you put tea in the dough, it will be colored! Store in the fridge or freezer. I put mine in the freezer because I like them super firm.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 30 Balls
Just my little animal foodie friends,  hanging out and jammin'.

Just my little animal foodie friends,  hanging out and jammin'.

Produce On Parade - Super Vitality Truffles

German Word of The Day

Vitality --> Lebensfreude (Lee-beens-Freud-eh)

Good Deed of The Day

Did you guys see this article on a vegan cheese project that aims to replicate cheese from cow's milk by using caseins? So weird! Kudos for finding a way to replicate cheese without harming cows (kind of similar to those test tube burgers I suppose) but casein really isn't that great for us. Read up on The China Study, if you haven't already. As an animal advocate this makes me happy, but as a consumer I think I might pass. What about you? What do you think of this innovation?

ChocoCoco Strawberry-Banana Brownie Bites

When Todd and I first decided to do an elimination diet to try to help alleviate his Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), gluten was the first thing to go. We wanted so badly for gluten to be a sort of scapegoat for his flare-ups. At the suggestion of a co-worker, we had high hopes that eliminating it would really help. However, the lack of gluten didn't make a different from him at all. Regardless, I am eternally grateful for that trial period. That's what really got us to look into diet and how it can affect RA.  What followed the gluten trial was the elimination of meat and dairy, two of the biggest dietary triggers for RA. Google "Rheumatoid Arthritis and diet" and that's what you'll find. Avoid meat and dairy. So, that's what we did. And boy did it help. Then, I discovered and I cannot tell you how instrumental that website was to our vegan journey and still is! I researched eggs, as essentially that was the only animal product we were consuming at that time. I had no idea how inflammatory they were and we eliminated them from our diet immediately. Being completely vegan relieved his worst RA symptoms incredibly. We were both so surprised at how substantially diet impacted him, with regards to the arthritis.

I became very interested in a vegan diet due to the benefits that myself and especially Todd experienced, that I began to research nutrition and food every free minute I had. That's when I really discovered the horrors that are inflicted upon animals, the environment, and surprisingly our own bodies with implementation of an omnivorous diet. I was shocked. 

*Reader Discretion Advised - Strong Language and The Truth* What scares me the most is how our food animal friends come to be on our plates. I can't even really admit that I turned a blind eye to it all, I just simply didn't have all the facts. I suspect that's how most people go through their dietary life and that's very upsetting. The meat and dairy industries work tirelessly to hide their transgressions. Plus, don't you know how hipster bacon is you guys!? I'm not sure about you, but I (along with the rest of the world) yearn for fried, decaying pig carcass strips on EVERYTHING.

At least try to make the connection. Or, read this story on how dead piglets are ground up into a "smoothie" and fed to their mothers. If you still want bacon armed with that little piece of knowledge gold...that's f*cked up. That's a blind eye. Hey, sometimes even I have to get all serious and bitchy up in here.

People! That's really happening. That's not vegan propaganda. Pigs are held in such monstrously, horrible conditions because of our insane demand for bacon and pork, that this is now what has to be implemented to keep other pigs from getting sick. If that completely disgusts you gastronomically (and hopefully ethically), sign the petition at the bottom of this post. Great, now I ruined my day. 

Anyways, I bet you're asking what in the hell my angry little story has to do with these brownie bites. Well, they are made with coconut flour. Which is gluten free. Yes, we're back to the very top of the post now. I can hear my dad now, "Get to the point, Katie." I tend to feel the need to explain everything. You see, the fact that gluten never bothered Todd, means that we have an abundance of different gluten free flours and coconut flour is just one of them. I absolutely refuse to waste them! So, I decided to set out on a coconut flour brownie adventure! 

Produce On Parade - ChocoCoco Strawberry-Banana Brownie Bites

I'm not even going to try and hide it, when I pulled these bad boys out of the oven and saw that they were all sunken...I was mighty sad. Then I thought...wait a minute...I just made strawberry jam a few days ago and these have bananas in them. Omg, I'm going to fill those sunken bits with jam! And the rest is brownie history. These super gooey brownie bites are made with coconut flour and no oil! Filled with your favorite jam, they delight! 

ChocoCoco Strawberry-Banana Brownie Bites 

Makes 11

Notes: These brownies are very gooey. That's just how coconut flour is, in my experience. 

  • Flax Egg:
  • 2 Tbsp. ground flax seed
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. water
  • Dry:
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 Tbsp. corn starch
  • 1 Tbsp. vegan sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • Wet:
  • 2 ripe medium bananas, sliced
  • 1 cup cartoned plain coconut milk
  • 1 Tbsp. agave nectar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract 
  • 3 Tbsp. vegan chocolate chips
  • Topping:
  • jam, of choice (I used homemade strawberry - recipe below)

In a small bowl, whisk together the ground flax and water. Allow to rest in fridge until ready to use. 

In a large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients. 

Produce On Parade - ChocoCoco Strawberry-Banana Brownie Bites Produce On Parade - ChocoCoco Strawberry-Banana Brownie Bites

Preheat oven to 375 F. In a medium bowl, mash the sliced bananas very well with a fork. Add the remaining wet ingredients except the chocolate chips and stir until well combined. 

Produce On Parade - ChocoCoco Strawberry-Banana Brownie Bites Produce On Parade - ChocoCoco Strawberry-Banana Brownie Bites Produce On Parade - ChocoCoco Strawberry-Banana Brownie Bites

Add the wet ingredients and the flax egg to the dry mixture and stir until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips. 

Coat a muffin pan with a nonstick cooking spray. Divide the batter evenly, until the cups are about 3/4 full. My batter resulted in 11 brownie bites. 

Produce On Parade - ChocoCoco Strawberry-Banana Brownie Bites

Bake for 60 minutes at 375 F. Allow to rest in pan for 10 minutes after baking, then remove from pan and transfer to a cooling rack to rest another 10 minutes. 

Produce On Parade - ChocoCoco Strawberry-Banana Brownie Bites

Pour jam into the top of the brownie bites before serving. 

Produce On Parade - ChocoCoco Strawberry-Banana Brownie Bites Produce On Parade - ChocoCoco Strawberry-Banana Brownie Bites Listening to: Ok Sweetheart – Traitor

German Word of The Day: Flour --> Mehl (pronounced: mell or meel) I didn't know that one!

Good Deed of The Day: I shouldn't have to convince you to head on over to Care2 and sign the petition to ask the USDA to stop feeding dead piglets to their mothers. It only takes 5 seconds and you'll see me there!LiRecipe Card

[yumprint-recipe id='106']See the post on the Strawberry Basil Jam/Sauce, here.Produce On Parade - ChocoCoco Strawberry-Banana Brownie Bites

Peppermint Mocha Cookie Dough Bites

I've seen a bunch of these little no-bake-cookie-dough-ball-bites rolling around the internet for quite some time now. Yet, I've never really had the itch to make them. I don't really know why. They're easy, delicious, pretty healthy and fun to make! I guess it's because I knew I'd gobble up all those little guys at once, so why even try. In terms of willpower leaves a lot to be desired.... Well, I'm happy to say that yesterday I put on my big girl underpants and I made some of these little mofos. They were super easy and very tasty. And I exhibited excellent willpower in only eating one ball...and maybe several gobs of dough off the spatula. Okay, so it might have ended up to be about the equivalent of 3-4 balls. That's not too bad. Right?

Produce On Parade - Peppermint Mocha Cookie Dough BitesJust look how cute they are! Peppermint Mocha Kahlua is amazing, by the way. I've been using it in my coffee lately but it was begging to be used in a recipe! And no, I am not a Kahlua spokesperson. Maybe I should be though...Anyways, these little cookie dough bites are sweet and nutty and mimic the texture of raw cookie dough perfectly. The cacao nibs lend a rich, dark chocolate crunch!

Peppermint Mocha Cookie Dough Bites

Inspired by Lauren Conrad

Makes 12 bites

  • 2/3 cup raw cashews
  • 1/3 cup dry oats
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 Tbsp. maple syrup 
  • 2 tsp. Peppermint Mocha Kahlua
  • 1 drop of peppermint extract (optional)
  • 1/4 cup cacao nibs
  • finishing salt, for topping (optional)

In a food processor, add the oats and processor until they are the texture of flour. Add in the cashews, and pulse until the nuts are pulverized and mixed in well.

Produce On Parade - Peppermint Mocha Cookie Dough BitesNow, add in the remaining ingredients except for the cacao nibs and pulse until very well combined. 

Produce On Parade - Peppermint Mocha Cookie Dough BitesStir in the cacao nibs by hand.

Produce On Parade - Peppermint Mocha Cookie Dough Bites

Spray your hands with a nonstick cooking spray and roll the bites into little balls. Top with a sprinkle of finishing salt, if you wish! 

Produce On Parade - Peppermint Mocha Cookie Dough Bites

Cover the leftovers and keep in the fridge.

Produce On Parade - Peppermint Mocha Cookie Dough BitesListening to The City and Horses – Pretty Pretty

[yumprint-recipe id='43']