Healthier Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bars

It’s finally that time of the year again! That’s right, it’s Fall. And how can fall be complete without one major staple? What is it? Pumpkin, of course!

Pumpkin is not only the favored dish for cooler autumn months, but it is also very healthy for you! It provides a lot of vitamin A, which is great for eyesight (more than 200% of recommended daily intake!). With the holiday seasons approaching, we all know its difficult to keep healthy when there’s food laid out everywhere. But pumpkin is a fiber-rich food which actually helps people shed those extra pounds. Also, another benefit of pumpkin is a certain chemical called phytosterol which has been shown to reduce cholesterol and makes your heart much stronger! It also helps reduce cancer, make your skin much healthier, boost your immune system and last but not least boost your mood (produces serotonin which plays a big role with chemicals of our brains, making us happier)!

We’ve compiled three healthy recipes you can make this autumn. Whatever the occasion is; a family gathering, birthday party, upcoming holidays like Halloween and Thanksgiving, these different pumpkin flavor treats are just exquisite.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bars

 Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bars

These can be gluten-free!
Ingredients:
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 packets NuNaturals stevia (or 2 more tablespoons sugar)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3 eggs, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
2 tablespoons milk of choice
2 tablespoons oil (coconut oil or vegetable oil will work)
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine dry ingredients, then add in wet. Spread into an oiled 7×5 pan (or double the recipe for an 8×8) and cook for 14-15 minutes. Note: You can sub agave for the sugar; they’ll just be fluffier/cake-ier.

Here is a healthy option for the cream cheese:
1/2 cup silken-firm tofu (Mori-Nu is a good option)
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp cream cheese spread
1/2 tsp vanilla extract sweetener of choice to taste (recommend stevia or powdered sugar)
optional: dash of cinnamon

Directions:
Blend until smooth, then add the other ingredients and blend again

Post by Intern, Lynn Nguyen.  Lynn’s a student in the academy of Health Care Sciences at her school. She’s found a love for fitness, nutrition and health and wellness. 

Raw Lemon Bars (Vegan & Gluten Free)

Guest post by Active Accessories Ambassador, Abby Phon. When it comes to healthy recipes, Abby sure knows her stuff! 

rawandveganbarsabbyphonIngredients:

Crust:

  • 1 ½ cup raw organic walnuts
  • ½ cup raw unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 10 organic Medjool dates
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 4 tbsp lemon zest

Filling

  • ¾ cup organic extra virgin coconut oil
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 6 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 5 drops stevia (to taste)
  • Pinch turmeric, for color.

Directions:

  1. Using a food processor, combine all the crust ingredients until uniform. (It will still be a little chunky.)
  2. Press into an 8×8 Pyrex dish (or similar).
  3. Place the coconut oil into a small bowl.
  4. Beat the coconut oil with a mixer 1-2 minutes (until creamy).
  5. Add in the lemon juice, zest, maple syrup, stevia and turmeric and mix until combined.
  6. Spread the filling over the crust.
  7. Place into the fridge or freezer 20-30 minutes (until set).
  8. Cut and enjoy!

Note: If you freeze these, leave them out to soften a bit before serving.

abbyphonpicAbout the Author: Abby Phon is a Certified Holistic Health Coach. She leads corporate workshops on nutrition and lifestyle, conducts food tours, cooking demonstrations and offers individual health and nutrition coaching around the world. She is also a certified Shiatsu practitioner, a licensed massage therapist, an AFAA nationally certified group fitness instructor, an IntenSati Leader and a certified Oneness Blessing (Deeksha) Giver.

Website: feedyourmindbodyspirit.com
Facebook: AbbyPhon
Twitter: @AbbyPhon
Pinterest: AbbyPhon

Chocolate Pavlova with raspberries & strawberries (Gluten Free)

Chocolate Pavlova with raspberries & strawberries (Gluten Free)Adapted from Nigella Lawson

Time:
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 1 – 1:15 hours
Yield: 8-10 servings

Ingredients:

For the Meringue Base:

  • 6 large organic egg whites
  • 1 cup coconut sugar – granulated to a fine powder in mini prep or blender
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 ounces organic dark chocolate, finely chopped

For the Toppings:

  • Organic strawberries & raspberries
  • 1 to 2 ounces dark chocolate
  • Vegan truwhip whipped topping (optional)

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Beat the egg whites until they form peaks.
  3. Add in the sugar, 1 tbsp at a time, and beat until stiff.
  4. Gently fold in the cocoa powder, balsamic vinegar and chopped chocolate.
  5. Once the cocoa is well mixed, pour onto a parchment-paper lined baking sheet.
  6. Form into a 9” circular shape, about 2-3 inches high.
  7. Place into the oven, and set the temperature down to 300 F.
  8. Bake for 1 hour to 1:15, until the top looks dry.
  9. Turn off the oven, open the door slightly and let the pavlova cool.

To serve: carefully remove the parchment paper (it sticks) and top with truwhip or whipped cream.  Decorate with raspberries and strawberry slices, and shave some chocolate over the top.
This is delicious warm, but if you let it cool completely the chocolate chunks really stand out!

abby-phon-oatmeal-160About the Author: Abby Phon is a Certified Holistic Health Coach. She leads corporate workshops on nutrition and lifestyle, conducts food tours, cooking demonstrations and offers individual health and nutrition coaching around the world.  She is also a certified Shiatsu practitioner, a licensed massage therapist, an AFAA nationally certified group fitness instructor, an IntenSati Leader and a certified Oneness Blessing (Deeksha) Giver.

Website: feedyourmindbodyspirit.com
Facebook: AbbyPhon
Twitter: @AbbyPhon
Pinterest: AbbyPhon

Pumpkin Spice Bread

Even though “pumpkin” may make you think of fall, this bread is too good to be ignored during the other seasons!  We haven’t had it yet this year so we had to make it.  It’s totally delicious… oh, and the recipe is pretty easy too!

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We recommend this as your night time dessert with a nice hot cup of tea.

First, gather all the ingredients.

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1 cup flour
¾ cup wheat flour
¾ cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon cloves
¼ teaspoon ginger
2 eggs
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
15 ounces canned pumpkin

Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees.

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

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In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs, pumpkin, vanilla, and water.

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Add this mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated.

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Pour into a greased 9 by 5 inch loaf pan and bake for 80 min or until it tests done with a toothpick.  Remove from pan and cool on a wire cooling rack.  Slice and enjoy!

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A simple tip for everyone making this recipe:  the bread tends to taste better the second day, once the spices have had a chance to blend a bit!  Don’t eat the whole loaf in one day because we promise it will taste even better the next day.

Enjoy & let us know if you make this and what you think.

Vegan Red Lentil & Squash Soup

On cold winter days like these, we find ourselves constantly thinking about ways to stay warm.  The best way to fight the winter chill is with a bowl of piping hot soup!

20130122_181304We set out to prepare a delicious, nutritious, flavorful soup that would warm us up and thus created our new Vegan Red Lentil & Squash Soup.  We hope you make it during one of these long days of winter!

20130122_162937First of all, gather and chop all ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped (we use the stuff out of the jar: saves time)
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger (again, we use the stuff out of the jar: saves time)
  • 1 cup dry red lentils
  • 1 cup butternut squash -peeled & cubed (save time by using frozen squash)
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 14.5 oz can of vegetable broth
  • 1/2 (14 oz) can coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes (we used canned tomatoes.  Since we like extra spice we used the ones with diced green chilies in them, but if you don’t like too much spice, stick to regular diced tomatoes)
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (omit this if you don’t want spicy soup)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Next, heat the pot to a low-medium temperature.  Add the olive oil, onions, ginger & garlic.  (Do NOT put the temperature too high or you will have a splattering mess!)  Cook until the onions turn translucent and the flavors have had a chance to mix (about 3-5 minutes).

Add the lentils, butternut squash, and cilantro.20130122_165019

Immediately add the water, can of broth and coconut milk.

Add the diced tomatoes, curry powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cayenne pepper.

20130122_165633Stir all the ingredients together.  Bring the heat up to medium.  Wait for the soup to boil then drop it down to a slow simmer.  Allow to simmer for 30-40 minutes.  Use an immersion blender for 5-10 seconds to puree the soup.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Enjoy and try to stay warm!  Let us know what you think.

 

 

Quinoa Chocolate Chip Pancakes with Blueberry Sauce (Dairy Free and Gluten Free)

Guest post by Active Ambassador and Certified Health Coach, Abby Phon.

quiona_chocolate_chip_pancakes_with_blueberry_sauce_350x233Ingredients

Pancakes
2 cups of quinoa flour
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. sea salt
1 egg
2 egg whites
1½ cups unsweetened almond milk
1 tbsp. Earth balance buttery spread (melted)
¼ cup organic coconut sugar
¼ cup of ground flax seed

OPTIONAL: organic chocolate chips (amount is up to you! I LOVE chocolate so I probably put about 6-7 chips in each pancake)
1-2 tbsp coconut oil – for cooking

Blueberry Sauce
1 bag organic frozen blueberries
2 tablespoons organic blueberry (or apricot… use what you have!) fruit spread

Directions

Pancakes:
Whisk the pancake ingredients (everything except the chocolate chips and coconut oil) together in a large bowl.

Heat about a tablespoon of coconut oil in the pan over medium heat. With a folded-up paper towel, wipe the excess oil from the pan. (Save this paper towel to clean and re-oil the pan between batches.) When it’s hot, drop about ¼ cup of batter per pancake (for medium-sized cakes) into the pan.  Sprinkle some chocolate chips in the middle of each pancake. When bubbles form and the outside edge is starting to look cooked, flip over and cook another 1-2 minutes.

Blueberry Sauce:
Combine blueberries and fruit spread in a pot. Bring to a boil and reduce to medium-low heat. Stir occasionally until sauce has thickened. Pour over top of pancakes!

Cook’s Note: I’m a huge maple syrup (on my pancakes) kind-of-gal, but with this recipe and the sweetness from the chocolate chips and the yummy blueberry sauce I didn’t even miss (or need! GASP!) maple syrup! :)

abby-phon-oatmeal-160About the Author: Abby Phon is a Certified Holistic Health Coach. She leads corporate workshops on nutrition and lifestyle, conducts food tours, cooking demonstrations and offers individual health and nutrition coaching around the world.  She is also a certified Shiatsu practitioner, a licensed massage therapist, an AFAA nationally certified group fitness instructor, an IntenSati Leader and a certified Oneness Blessing (Deeksha) Giver.

Website: feedyourmindbodyspirit.com
Facebook: AbbyPhon
Twitter: @AbbyPhon
Pinterest: AbbyPhon