2014/08/30

Marble Chocolate Bark

So upon reviewing some childhood photos (good ol' embarrassment...), I came across this crazily stupid T-Shirt I seemed to always wear... It said "Yes" in huge letters on the front and "No" on the back...


I remember loving it... I don't know why... maybe because it had english text on it and growing up in the motherland, english words were the epitome of "cool"... But this isn't to discuss my backwards sense of style as a kid... that's a standalone-post worthy topic that I will... not ever publish... 

But this T-Shirt made me think of a few recent articles I read that seemed to be a direct contradiction of each other. One of them was all about being a "Yes Man!!" and how it can change your life... while the other was about the importance of "Saying NO" and regaining your independence to not become a people pleaser. So which is it? Which one of these little words should rule your daily life... saying Yes!!! Or... "No..." (or more frequently "better not...") 

The Importance of Saying Yes

This speaks to me a lot more. You've probably heard that "It's better to regret something you've done than something you didn't do". And I completely agree. Usually, when I talk myself into something stupid, that is the quote I use to win my internal argument...  And I can talk myself into doing almost anything. The little "better not" voice gets snuffed out very easily. Try a new sport? Sign up to a challenge? Participate in an event? Learn a new skill? Yes! Yes! Yes!! and I have experienced some of the most wonderful, hilarious things in my life by doing exactly that...
  
                                         

When it backfires:

1. The obvious. 


Sometimes things that seem like a "good idea at the time", are something that required more thought and careful planning. 

                                          

2. The overload. 

Sometimes, you need to stop wasting your time with something that's not working for you and to hell with the "check in the box". Being stuck in a training plan for 6 months that's been getting progressively worse? Banging your head against some nutritional plan that was "supposed to work", but it's really not? Re-evaluate!! 

For me, the biggest difficulty is suddenly being swamped with many tasks and challenges that I don't really want to do... And I can't STAND backing out of things. Something really serious has to happen for me to quit. So I end up stressed. I need to have that "check in the box" that I completed the task. The check box drives me... sometimes in the wrong direction.

Don't aggressively try the same thing over and over again just because you told someone else (or yourself) that you will see it through to the end and you end up wasting so much time!! (I'm looking at you Candy Crush) Sure give a plan an adequate 9-12 weeks, but at the end of it... really think and evaluate how it went!

When it comes to personal battles, sometimes you need to acknowledge that your strategy might be completely wrong. It is so much easier to say "Oh I can't succeed, it's a losing battle!" than to acknowledge - it's not the opponent that's the problem... it's the strategy. 

Remember those boss levels in video games? You need to make sure the approach is correct, or you will not succeed!!

 Ah so bashing Mario's head against the propellor WILL kill him...


The Importance of Saying No.

Sometimes you have to say no. And not just when it comes to not being a pushover and standing up for yourself... or you end up here:



Sometimes you have to say "no" to yourself. And I'm not talking about "no, don't eat that cake" scenario - the one I'm talking about is much harder. The "should I keep doing what I'm doing" scenario... and saying No without feeling guilty. One of the hardest things is to let go something you have been working on. Whether it's an unsuccessful endeavour, work, relationship, diet, training, whatever. The amount of time "invested" in something can turn into a horrible driving force to persevere through something that is making you miserable. Sometimes, you just need to Let it Go (I will not insert Frozen reference here...). 


So, how to know whether to say Yes or No?

No easy easy way of accomplishing this, but I stole this decision-making model based on "dealing with a dilemma" because, the way I see it... the inner monologue battle (at least the one I go through), really is one kind of "should I/shouldn't I" dilemma or another. 

1. Stop and think - prevent that rash decision. Think ahead. Take a few seconds, a few deep breaths, and analyze.

2. Clarify Goals - long and short-term goals. Is your decision going to help you with a current challenge, long-term, is it a quick-fix? What is it you want as an end result!

3. Determine FACTS - cut out the emotions. Forget the "time invested". This is the hardest step. Think as if you are an outsider. Look at the raw data and results. Imagine you were evaluating someone else. 

4. Develop Options - now that you have the facts and the goals... look at different ways you can consolidate the two. 

5. Consider the Consequences this is where most of my "yes" thinking wins out. My question always is: "What's the worst that could happen?"... whether or not I really cultivate all the "worst-case scenarios" is a topic for another day... 

6. Choose - make that decision. Although the model urges the decision-maker to "talk someone whose judgment you respect", in my opinion, you need to make yourself the person whose opinion you respect. Think in your head "If I had to turn myself into my own role model... what would I do?" 

7. Monitor/Modify - evaluate the results! again and again. Keep track! Is it working? Yes? No? Why not? These will be your facts for your next round of decision making!!!




And now onto the fun stuff! This recipe is not really "a recipe" more like - 10 minutes to make something ABSOLUTELY delicious. 

Mixed Berry-Nut Marble Chocolate Bark





Mixed Berry-Nut Marble Chocolate Bark
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Ingredients

1. 1 cup almonds
2. 1 cup cashews
3. 1 cup dried cranberries
4. 1 cup dried blueberreis
5. 1 cup 80% dark chocolate chips

Optional: 1 cup white chocolate chips (or more dark chocolate if you are against this delicious, but nutritionally brutal "not-really-chocolate-at-all" "chocolate")
 
Instructions

1. Pre-heat oven to 350F
2. Line a lasagna dish with foil
3. Spread the nuts and dried berries over the foil and roast for 5-7 minutes to glaze.
4. Pour the chocolate chips over top and bake for another 5-7 minutes until chocolate has melted
5. Place in fridge overnight for chocolate to set or place in freezer for 15-20 minutes.
6. Break off pieces and enjoy!!!

2014/08/26

Spicy Mango Chicken

It's beginning to feel a lot like summer! .... at the end of august... and between the Emmys and the VMAs and all the things that I had no clue were happening until hearing about them next day on the radio... (I can watch the highlights on BuzzFeed, don't judge me), sometimes I think it just might be nice to disappear into a disconnected oblivion and live amongst the ocean and palm trees:


... and then I remember that I love my phone... and technology... and even if I am on vacation next to the ocean I need at least a good book... or two... or a dozen....

Apart from all the award shows, unless you live under a rock, you have probably heard about the Ice Bucket Challenge. And I will give you my 2 cents on what I think about the whole thing... and yes I did it as can be seen on FB here.

Naturally, something viral like this has sparked controversy.

Disclaimer: this is just MY opinion. Everyone is entitled to theirs:
I know a lot of people are doing it for the sake of attention and don't know about the disease at ALL. And I know there are TONS of organizations out there that need help. And yes wasting water in a social media frenzy might or might not be the best way to go about helping a charity...

BUT so many people ARE talking about it, and about charities, and about donations! - and if this thing can encourage people in general to think more about diseases/issues/debates and simply talk about something besides who's hot and not at the last award show... then why not just embrace it? If you have a cause that is closer to your heart... by all means donate to that! If this ice bucket madness made you think about anyone else besides yourself, I say it did something good! For example, I donated to ALS, but also Soldier On and a couple other organizations that really stand out to me. Don't use this as an excuse to complain and criticize and point out the flaws, use it as an opportunity to donate to what you care about and share your reasons!

Ok rant over. Onto the foodstuff.

Today's recipe of the day is courtesy of another Costco overstock on my part --> after going mano-a-mano with a mango in a peeling battle royale... I got a little over-excited by pre-cut frozen mangoes at costco... and bought a 2 kilo bag. And truth be told ... I like mango... but not "I will eat 2 kilos of it" much. SO time to plow through the mango reserves. And while at first I was excited by the prospect of experimenting with mango salsa... I recently tried a chicken dish at a restaurant with spiced mango... that I attempted to recreate. And the combination of spice, chicken, and tangy mango works really REALLY well.

So today I give you...



Spicy Mango Chicken
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Ingredients

1. 1 pound diced chicken breasts
2. 2 cups cubed mango
3. 1 cup Frank's Red Hot (or hot sauce of choice)
4. 1 tbsp coconut oil
5. 1/2 cup almonds
6. 1 clove of garlic
7. 1 tsp ginger
8. Salt/pepper 

Optional: 1 tsp jalapeno if you want an extra kick


Instructions

1. Over medium skillet melt the coconut oil and toast the almonds 
2. Add the chicken and the garlic
3. When the chicken is almost done add the hot sauce and mango
4. Simmer over low heat for additional 5-10 minutes depending on how soft you want the mangoes
5. Finish with ginger, salt/pepper + additional jalapeno to taste.
6. Serve with your complex carb of choice - works nicely with quinoa/rice or cauliflower! 

2014/08/15

Quinoa Cake Bread and finding your personal soundtrack

Before I get onto a pretty awesome experiment I pulled off with an overabundance of quinoa flakes (thank you Costco yet again for making me buy a lifetime supply of something I don't use all that much...) I will go on a little rant of the day about music. Especially epic movie soundtracks.

Now I may be biased because I've been exposed to music for as long as I can remember... starting to bang away at a piano at the tender age of 4... and sticking with it (thanks to my parents who did not let me quit when I tried to ultimatum them multiple times growing up...) for my entire life... BUT personal biases aside...

I say - show me a person that "doesn't like music" and I'll show you a LIAR! To me, saying you "don't like music", is the equivalent of "I hate food", "I hate sleep" or "I hate breathing". Sure, people have very different tastes, and yes, MY iPod ranges from Top40 to "don't judge me"...

                                               

...but I think everyone can relate to the feeling of having a song help you relax, or on the contrary get you motivated and ready to trek through whatever you're doing... or have a strong association with something in the past... enough to make you feel like you're going through deja vu when you hear it.

In fact, movies love to exploit the fact that we rely on music to guide us through a wide emotional range. Which is why Motion Pictures Soundtracks are some of my favourite sources of music. When movies were just coming out of the silent era and dialogue was incorporated, the first spoken movies did not have a music theme of any kind. I saw some of these in my Music for Films course back in undergrad... and it was WEIRD. It's actually a pretty interesting phenomenon - movies rely so much on suspension of disbelief and we are so critical of the smallest flaws and inconsistencies that remind us that the movie is... a movie... god forbid we see the glare of a stage-light somewhere in the shot... and yet a soundtrack... something completely artificial is completely necessary... but I digress.

There is a huge body of research starting with this great article, linking music with better cognitive development, faster recovery of stroke victims, increased growth hormone production, and decreased stress hormone levels. It does not have to be a certain type of music... just the music of your personal preference...  (although if for you that song is #Selfie, I make no promises about that song improving your cognitive development... ). And a great network of articles linked through the Journal of Neurology discussing various interesting ways the brain reacts to musical stimuli.

So I want everyone to think of their personal soundtrack!

I won't get into my personal very embarrassing list of songs I love, BUT if you are at all motivated to start listening to movie soundtracks... apart from the big and the obvious themes (Lord of the Rings, Gladiator, anything by John Williams, etc.), I have been recently really enjoying Steve Jablonsky. And in general, I recommend you look up

1. The Transformers Theme - Bonus points to "Bumblebee" and "The Autobots"
2. The Island Movie Soundtrack - "My Name is Lincoln" is pretty epic
3. Not Steve Jablonsky - but "Forbidden Friendship" from How to Train Your Dragon
4. The Battle Room - Ender's Game Soundtrack
5. Bioluminescence of the Night - Avatar Soundtrack

and many many more. That's just my personal taste, scroll through the rest of the soundtracks, chances are you'll find something that speaks to you.

AND next time you watch a movie... pay attention to the soundtrack! You will be surprised how many character and idea themes actually give away little bits of the story line and carry the whole story forward! You'll be watching the movie from a whole new perspective!

Now onto the recipe. This awesome quinoa-based recipe makes a fluffy corn-bread like bread. In fact, it tastes suspiciously a lot like cornbread with a hint of vanilla. I made this into a bread, BUT I think this will work absolutely wonderfully with some icing in cake form. I also can't wait to try this out with a hefty amount of cocoa powder to see if I can turn this into a chocolate variety...




This recipe also works GREAT as a cake base:

aaaand here it is with 2 scoops of cocoa and 80% baker's chocolate melted over the top (not nearly as pretty but honestly I just wanted to get to the eating it part not the let's make it pretty part...)


Here it is with some Vanilla protein icing:



Quinoa "Corn" Bread
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Ingredients

1. 1 cup Quinoa Flakes
2. 2 Cups Unsweetened Almond Milk
3. 4 eggs
4. 1 scoop Vanilla Protein Powder or 2 tbsp coconut flour
+ 1 tsp vanilla
5. 1/2 cup coconut oil
6. 1/8 cup stevia
7. 1 tsp baking powder

 
Instructions

1. Melt the coconut oil and combine all the wet ingredients 

2. Mix in the dry ingredients

3. Pre-heat the oven to 350F
4. Pour the mix in the loaf pan. If using protein powder, it rises minimally, so find a loaf that will be close to the final shape you want for your loaf

5. Bake for 45 minutes or until knife comes out clean.

6. Allow to cool before serving so the coconut oil can re-set

2014/08/09

Chia Cinnamon Mini Donuts and the Happiness Challenge

Good Morning Everybody!!

After another awesome (albeit busy week)... I bring you another rant&recipe (my personal version of r&r). 

BUT, first of all, I would like to extend a Very Happy Birthday to my awesomely amazing Mom who has the heart and patience of a saint! (I would have given myself up for adoption years ago)

Now I have started something last week... bear with me ... I know this sounds silly at first...

It's the Happiness Challenge

Yes, I was skeptical in the beginning too...

I am doing it with instagram. Basically every day you snap a photo of something that made you happy that day... and you have to do this for 100 days straight. I enjoy photos so I like the instagram version but it can be with anything: 

...basically this is what I want you to do: 

                                   Every day - write down ONE good thing about that day. 

Really? 
Yes. Really. 

It's simple, quick, and very effective in improving your overall mood. If you have time to do all the usual "meditate, reflect" - you are very lucky. But there is no excuse, no matter how busy you are for this 1 minute/day challenge. There are tons of "happiness challenges" out there... with a different task each day, "call a friend, write down 10 things you like about yourself, etc." Frankly... I think those are too complicated and it is way too easy to quit. I am a fan of simplicity. 

Why should you do this?
It is SO much easier to dwell on the negative than on the positive. I have had a few busy crazy days when I actually FORGOT something good happened that day... until I tried to write it down for the challenge. Somehow negative thoughts are so much more effective at demolishing anything positive. 

Find your happy moment each day!

At the end of each day - Think of ONE good thing about that day... and write. it. down. Get a little agenda and fill in a square per day, or just a little notebook. You will be surprised at how effective this is... especially on days when you feel like strangling someone with piano wire.  

Don't think that something so small can change your outlook on life? I respectfully disagree: Big things have SMALL beginnings. Great impressive changes and habits come from SMALL successes. These little steps build up momentum to result in a great change over time! SMALL successes get you confident that you can tackle BIG successes - so get out that little notebook and write down DAY 1!!!

And I know it is SO much easier and SO much more tempting to be grumpy cat...


but instead... be a Minion!!


And what better way to start your quest for happiness than to make some Delicious Chia-Seed Cinnamon Mini Donuts!!!


Chia Seed & Cinnamon Mini Donuts
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Ingredients

1. 1/2 cup egg whites
2. 1/2 cup almond milk
3. 1/4 cup buckwheat flour/quinoa flour 
4. 1/2 cup casein protein powder (or another 1/4 cup buckwheat/quinoa flour)
5. 1/8 cup maple syrup or sweetener of choice
6. 1/8 cup chia seeds
7. 1 tsp baking powder
8. 1 tsp cinnamon

Optional: 1 tbsp xylitol crystals + 1 tbsp cinnamon to sprinkle over the top in the end


Instructions

1. Blend all of the ingredients
2. Make in a little donut maker (best 20$ I spent at WalMart) OR Pre-heat oven to 325F
3. In a mini-donut or regular donut baking tray cook for 25-30 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.

Disclaimer: I only tried making these with the Mini Donut maker and the dough turned out amazing soft and gooey - I have NOT tried making them bigger so if you want to experiment with other shapes of trays/moulds, make sure to cook these through all the way so they hold. 

2014/08/04

Vanilla Almocado Muffins

Happy Long Weekend Everyone!!! (well if you are in Canada)

It has been a crazy few days - a drive down to the ol' Homestead in Toronto... two weddings... and a middle of the night return for a training session the next morning, after a blissful four hours of sleep....

I. Regret. Nothing. 

The two weddings I went to were essentially polar opposites - a quiet ceremony with a couple dozen close friends for an intimate environment and a chic cocktail party after the reception... VS a massive ceremony extravaganza with a couple hundred people! The first wedding ceremony was quick and non-denominational, focusing on the vows and the couple, while the other was actually a combination of two very traditional ceremonies, one after another, to celebrate the two cultural heritages of the couple.

And both. were. fantastic.

This weekend was proof yet again that there is no one right way of doing things, and whatever works for you, works for YOU, and to hell with everyone else!

In my opinion, it is better to do things your own way and succeed 80% of the time, than to follow the crowd and do something you don't really feel in tune with, and fail 80% of the time.

Basically think back to LEGO movie... remember when everyone was making fun of Emmet for the double decker couch...


And everyone had the same reaction... "that idea is just the worst"... but in the end it saved them? 
(sorry sorry spoiiiillller alert)

(Disclaimer: if you have not seen LEGO movie, stop what you are doing... and watch it NOW)

The moral of my rant here is: do NOT be afraid of doing something differently to try and find the way that works for YOU even if the majority of people don't agree with your approach. 

And sometimes your attempts will fail and sometimes your ideas are wrong and the other people who give you smart-ass advice are right, but the only way to learn is to try. things. yourself.

Besides, people's "general opinion" changes every few months based on some new trend anyway - whether it's nutritional advice, a workout strategy, a life coaching plan, or the answer to life, the universe and everything. I find it a lot less discouraging to bump heads with my own crazy schemes that I know might need some tweaking to begin with, rather than find out that some "universal truth" from Dr. "Latest breakthrough" is not working for me... ("but the man on the TV said 80% of the time it works every time!" )

How many times have you seen people succeeding by following COMPLETELY opposite mentalities...  which is why talking and discussing nutrition and sports with people you know can become unbelievably frustrating...

You: "so you are looking great recently, what have you been doing?" 

Friend #1 : " WELL I am getting in better shape every day by eating 8 small perfect meals a day - my metabolism is on FIRE!"

Friend #2: "I am THRILLED, I finally succeeded in dropping 5% body fat with intermittent fasting. No more of that small meals garbage"

Friend #3: "Running has changed my life! I just signed up for my next race!" 

Friend #4: "Well, I was really depressed after I hurt their knees with running and the whole endurance sport old-school mentality that destroys your joints. I am so grateful I found CrossFit and am actually training properly now"

Friend #5: "I actually gained weight with a perfect fitness and training regiment and I don't want to talk about any of it".

You:
And that is fine. They key is - even if your progress is slow...  Don't lose confidence in your personal system. Give. it. time. 

Most importantly, if you see someone next to you getting results much much faster by doing something differently... don't just automatically abandon what you've been doing and start copying them. I know it is SOOO tempting to ditch something for the "next best thing", but you don't know all the variables! I have just had a heartbreaking conversation with someone who has been doing so well with losing a nice, steady 3lbs/week for the past couple of months who is devastated because they switched to their friend's "diet plan" because "she looks amazing" and their progress came to a gigantic halt and the weight loss has stopped completely. Now, that person is on the fence as to whether just "give up this whole thing because nothing works for me".

So I end my rant, before getting onto my recipe with this: 

Be your own unique snowflake, be your own solution, and don't for a second let your successful differences be intimidated by the theoretical norms. 


AND NOW...

you know I love the combination of almonds and avocados... just check out my Almocado Smoothie... and my zesty Avocado Lemon Bites....

And it is true that avocado works wonderfully with chocolate... BUT today I am trying a VANILLA twist on avocado...

I know it's not St. Patty's Day... but once that comes around these would work for the green theme!



Vanilla Almocado Muffins
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Ingredients

Muffin
1. 1 cup almond meal
2. 1/3 cup coconut flour
3. 1/2 cup egg whites
4. 1 ripe avocado
4. 1/2 cup honey (or sweetener of choice)
5. 1/2 cup almond milk
6. 1 tsp baking soda
7. 1 tsp vanilla

For protein variety sub:
1/3 cup coconut flour and vanilla with
1/4 cup coconut flour + 1 scoop protein powder + additional 1/4 cup almond milk

Icing
1. One very ripe avocado
2. 1 tbsp honey (or sweetener of choice)
3. 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Optional protein up! 1/2 cup almond milk + 1/2 scoop vanilla protein whey

Instructions

1. Pre-heat oven to 350F
2. Blend all the muffin ingredients
3. In lined muffin tray cook muffins for 25-35 minutes until toothpick comes out clean
4. Blend the icing and top your muffins!

2014/07/27

Honey-Nut Banana Bread

Good Morning Everyone!!

The last couple of days have been riddled with intermittent rainfall and pretty chilly weather for the end of july. It has been a hot cup of cocoa kind of day. A curl up with a good movie hot cup of cocoa kind of day to be exact.

And what better to go with a hot cup of cocoa then a nice slice of Protein Honey-Nut Banana Bread (especially if you spent your morning on a chilly run that you completely under-dressed for).

If you like banana bread, be sure to check out my post with Banana Bread Biscuits... and home-made Banana Fro-yo...

This Recipe is an adaptation/variation of This Bad Boy from ProteinPow.com

Protein Honey-Nut Banana Bread 




It also works in a round pan:




Protein Honey-Nut Banana Bread
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Ingredients

1. 1 cup almond milk
2. 1/2 cup vanilla whey
3. 3 ripe bananas
4. 1 cup liquid egg whites
5. 1/4 cup coconut flour 
6. 1/4 cup honey
7. 1 cup almonds
8. 1/2 tsp baking powder
9. 1/2 tsp cinnamon
 
Instructions

1. Pre-heat oven to 350F

2. Blend all of the ingredients and fill 4'x6' loaf pan (or 8' pie pan)

3. Bake for 60-75 minutes until knife comes out clean!

2014/07/23

Vegan Double Chocolate Cookies

Hello everybody I am BACK from the magic that was Trois Rivières... wow... going to Quebec... the city and the province... made me fall in love with it all over again. Really: between the vistas, the food, the music, the crowds of people and the joie de vivre, it is almost impossible to find something in Ontario that can compete with THIS:




... I want to live HERE!!!!!



I also forgot how much fun school is... Seriously, laugh all you want, but actively learning something is phenomenal. At heart, I am the eternal student... I would go to school for forever. Really. I know the life of a student isn't glamorous, and most students can't wait until they are back to the "real world"... but there are so many things you don't appreciate when you spend your days occupying your mind with different topics, ideas... knowledge...


Mixed with an awesome amount of procrastination....

I had such an incredible time in fact, that I have decided to go back to UofOttawa as a part time student after work. Am I crazy? Probably... Two degrees isn't enough? Nope! Aren't there better ways to spend the evening? Honestly, splitting my evenings between training and school sounds like complete paradise to me... so ... yep judge me all you want. But In undergrad, I never had a chance to take courses that were more essay based because I could not risk the potential damage to my GPA by introducing any kind of variable... which is the opposite of what I'm doing now. I am taking anthropology and philosophy, and in French! W00t! I am very excited. I don't even care that I will be one of those creepy mid-twenty-somethings mixing in with kids that have just for the first time started to live outside of home...

                                                 Me in september...

...But I don't care, I love education and knowledge. I believe that it can be used to resolve most of life's problems. There is a fantastic quotation in a new book I'm reading - Creativity Inc. A self-written biography by one of the founders of Pixar. There are many wonderful tidbits in the book... but the one that really stuck with me is the simplest...

If you are faced with a challenge you have trouble overcoming... just get smarter.

Easy as that eh? I'm sure there are many eyerolls and scoffs at the screen right now. But it's true! There is no limit to capacity or potential. This can mean anything - a new skill, new coping strategy, new outlook, or just new knowledge. If faced with a challenge... get smarter. I should get that on a T-shirt...

Ok if you made it this far in my rant... I salute you. If you just scrolled for the recipe... I made it worth it. This one is... Fantastic. I made a few things over the weekend that I will be posting in the next upcoming couple of weeks... but I wanted to start my return with something sinfully delicious.






Vegan Double Chocolate Cookies
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Ingredients

1.      2 cups shredded almonds
2.      1/8 cup coconut flour - or 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
3.      1/3 cup melted coconut oil
4.      1/3 cup maple syrup
5.      100g 80% dark chocolate or 1/2 cup raw cocoa
6.      ½ cup dairy free chocolate chips
7.      ½ tsp baking soda

 
Instructions

1.      Preheat oven to 350F
2.      Process all the ingredients in a food processor to make dough. I like the almonds more crunchy and textured, but if you want smoother dough, process until the desired consistency is reached.
3.      Make silver-dollar sized cookies on a parchment shape. These do not really spread as they are baking, so make the shape close to the final. Also as there is no egg, the cookies are not as bound so if you make them too big they break easily
4.      Bake for 10 minutes, 15 if you want them crispy
5.      Let them cool and SET. They are too soft when they are hot, they will get more solid as they set... so resist the temptations to eat them right away!!!