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healthy baking

Carob - Healthier than Chocolate?

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Carob - Healthier than Chocolate?

First off, what is Carob? Carob comes from the pod of a tree that grows along the Mediterranean Sea. The pod contains a sweet, edible pulp. Once dried and roasted, the pulp is ground into a powder called carob flour (but more commonly referred to as "carob powder"). It's similar to cocoa powder in color and can be substituted one-for-one in recipes, but carob is unique with its own special flavor and texture. You may want to swap out your Cacao for Carob if you are sensitive to caffeine or theobromine. Carob does not contain either of these like chocolate does. 

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Friday Favorites: How to get in your Veggies!

If you've worked with me, done my programs, or have been following me for some time now, you know that I'm always preaching to get your veggies in at every meal! Well today for my Friday Favorites post I wanted to share with you my 5 favorite ways to sneak in those veggies, especially the green ones! Click the links to download my recipe PDF's and if you want more of these amazing recipes along side an awesome, kick butt workout program, sculpting your body in 8 weeks, click HERE to get my Sculpted for Summer program! Available no until the end of April, soooo don't miss it! 

Ok so here we go, my 5 favorite ways to get in your veggies!

1) Replace those Grains with Veggies! It's a simple step but can make a huge difference. You can make veggies the base to any meal! Some of my favorites are Cauliflower rice, Spiralized Zoodles, Shredded Carrots, and of course just a bed of leafy greens with all the delicious toppings (spinach, arugula, kale, etc.) (Check out one of my favorite veggie based recipes HERE)

2) Frozen in my smoothies. Did you know that you can freeze veggies? I've heard the concern of not wanting to buy too much produce for the fear it will go bad before you get the chance to eat it. Weeeell Fear no more! Just before that tipping point of going bad, take those green leafy vegetables and put them in a zip-lock and stick them in the freezer! You can also do this with Cucumbers and zucchini. Peel, cut in half, and freeze. These greens will be perfect to throw into your morning smoothie, adding good texture and bulk without sugar or a lot of calories.  (Check out some of my favorite Green Smoothie Recipes HERE)

3) Shredded in my Oats. This one may sound a little crazy. Why would you every put vegetables in your oatmeal? But trust me, it adds bulk without the sugar, and you can't even taste it! You can still have a sweeter breakfast with veggies included, best of both worlds. Some of my favorite ways to do this are shredded up Zucchini, or those frozen greens I was talking about. Stir them up in your oats, add in your other flavoring & liquids and heat them up in the microwave or stove top. (Here's a recipe for some Zucchini Oats to try out - plus some more of my favorite oaties.

4) Shredded in baked goods. I love to bake, and I also love to eat what I've baked :) So lets make this a win win and sneak some veggies into those baked goods! If you have little kids who don't like eating veggies this is a great way to get around that. You can put shredded or blended veggies into pancake batter, quick bread, muffins, waffles, etc. Some favs are zucchini and carrots. Here's one of my favorite carrot muffin recipes.

5) And of course, the easy way out, Super green powders! If you just need something quick, extremely easy, and feel like you're not getting enough veggies in your meals, or you rather drink your greens than create a meal with vegetables, you may want to try a green powder. The trick is picking the right one. I'm not an expert on this stuff, because I love cooking and eating whole veggies, but I've recruited some back up. Check out this article from that ranks the best super green powders out there! Lots of good information so make sure to check it out. 

Well thanks for following along and reading. I'd love to hear what your favorite ways are to sneak in some extra veggies, comment below! 



Date Paste Sweetener + Sweet Potato Brownies

This week I needed to make a dessert for some friends we were having over.  The problem with me making desserts is I usually find myself eating more of the dough or batter than I planned on and end up with a sugar hangover.  I always try and find a healthy alternative to somewhat avoid this when I am planning on providing a treat for something.  I think that food should be enjoyed, and treats should be enjoyed, the key is moderation and deciding whats really worth the indulgence. I think its important to avoid constantly feeling deprived. I think that when we feel deprived, we end up OVER compensating later on with a sugar binge, or we just aren’t happy. If you allow yourself a little flexibility in your eating I have found it's better for long term commitment and results. This week I experimented with homemade "Date Paste" after hearing some great things about this alternative to sugar.  I like this alternative because its easy to make, its packed with nutrients rather than the empty calories from your average white sugar, and a little goes a long ways!



Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

I love september and I love garden veggies!  one of my guilty pleasures is home made bread.  And since garden veggies are in season right now naturally my favorite combo is Zucchini Bread!  I found this recipe and compared to most it is healthier, making it not so much a "guilty" pleasure.  Utilizing some healthy alternatives such as Apple Sauce for oil or sweetener, Coconut oil rather than vegetable oil or butter, whole wheat flour and oat flour in place of white refined flour, ground flax seed to add some Omega-3's, and Honey instead of empty calorie white sugars.  

I Say Healthy"er" rather than officially giving it the title of Healthy due to the fact that it does have Brown sugar in there, plus Honey which is still a sugar, and flour even though it uses better flour options.  But definitely better options than the traditional baking alternatives.  So enjoy! (try not to eat the whole loaf ;) 

So here's the recipe (found on

Healthy"er" Zucchini Bread 

makes 1 Large Loaf+ 2 mini loafs


-3 C of shredded zucchini (1 large zucchini or 2 med/small zucchini)

-1 C of unsweetened applesauce

-1/2 C coconut oil, softened or melted

-3 eggs

-3 tsp of vanilla extract 

-1/2 C coconut palm sugar, or brown sugar

-1/4 C pure maple syrup, or pure/raw honey

-1 1/2 C whole wheat flour

-1 1/2 C oat flour (ground up rolled oats in food processor)

-2 Tbs ground flax seed

-1 Tbs cinnamon

-1 tsp baking soda

-1/4 tsp baking powder

-1 tsp salt

-1 C chopped walnuts or if you want more of a treat 1/2 C semi sweet chocolate chips (both optional)


-Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray your loaf pans with non-stick cooking spray.  Set aside.

-In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment blend zucchini, applesauce, oil, eggs, vanilla, brown sugar, and maple syrup/honey.  

-In a seperate bowl whisk together remaining dry ingredients, except nuts or chocolate chips.

-Pour batter evenly between the loaf pans.  Bake for 40-45 min or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Cool on rack 5 minutes before removing from pan.  I dare you to stop at one slice.... ;)