Homemade Sugar Scrub

Homemade gifts are always a favorite with my family and I'm so excited to give them this homemade sugar scrub. Add any oils you want to make the scrub unique for your family and friends!

Ingredients:
2 Cups Sugar
1/2 C. Fractionated (Liquid) Coconut Oil
2 tbsp. honey
40 drops essential oil

Directions:
1. In a medium size mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and mix together with a fork until well blended.
2. Scoop into jars or containers and seal shut. 

Oil Blend Ideas:
Relax: 20 drops Lavender & 20 drops Rosemary
Energize: 20 drops Peppermint & 20 drops Orange
Rejuvenate: 20 drops Lavender & 20 drops Lemon
Uplift: 20 drops Grapefruit & 20 drops Rosemary

Dark Chocolate Coconut Bites (v&gf)

Chocolate and coconut? Yes, please!!! These are an amazing treat and made from all natural, healthy ingredients. They were easy to make and took just a few minutes to put together. I added a little sprinkle of salt to the top since I'm a salt junkie and it took them to a whole new delicious level! Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups desiccated (finely shredded) coconut

  • 6 tablespoons honey

  • 5 tablespoons coconut oil

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 4 ounces vegan dark chocolate for melting

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a large bowl mix the coconut, honey, coconut oil, vanilla, and salt. Stir until a thick paste forms.

  2. Using your hands or a small cookie scoop, form the mixture into about 18 small balls. Place the coconut balls on a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

  3. Melt the chocolate in the microwave or on the stove.

  4. Using a fork, drop each coconut ball in the chocolate and roll around until completely covered. Scoop the ball out with the fork and let the extra chocolate drip off the fork. Put the chocolate covered coconut back onto the parchment and refrigerate until the chocolate has hardened. Store in the refrigerator.

Adapted from Pinch of Yum

Southwest Grilled Sweet Potato Salad (v&gf)

I love to grill! In the Chicago area our summers are short and sweet, so once the weather turns I immediately dust off the old grill and get cooking. The best part for me about grilling is it leaves a clean kitchen and easy clean-up!

This recipe is new for me, but I fell in love instantly. I had never grilled sweet potatoes before and I feel like I've been missing out! The smoky flavor from the grill adds a whole new dimension and to my surprise they cooked up quick and the texture was perfect. Add creamy avocado, black beans, corn, bell peppers, some spices and lime juice and you have a satisfying, hearty, healthy meal.

The best way to grill the potatoes is to use a grill tray to ensure the slices don't fall between the grates of your grill.

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch slices

  • 8 tablespoon olive oil (4 for dressing the potatoes and 4 for finishing the salad)

  • 1 bag frozen corn, rinsed and drained

  • 2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained

  • 3 red pepper, diced

  • 4 green onions, chopped

  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro

  • 2 avocados, pit and skin removed, chopped

  • Juice of 4 limes

  • 1 tbsp. Mexican seasoning

  • 1-2 dashes chipotle powder or cayenne powder (optional to give it some kick!)

  • Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Pre-heat your grill. Slice the sweet potatoes and brush with a mix of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Grill the potatoes over medium-high heat until they can easily be pierced with a fork (about 6-8 minutes each side).

2. In a large bowl, add the corn, black beans, red pepper, green onions, cilantro, and avocados. Once the sweet potatoes are cooked through, slice the rounds into 1 inch pieces and add them to the bowl. Add the lime juice, Mexican seasoning, Chipotle (if using), 4 tbsp. olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss to combine. Add more seasoning if necessary.

3. Eat and enjoy!

Serves 6

Recipe adapted from Audrey's Apron

Mexican Chocolate Zucchini Brownies (v&gf)

While I'm not a fan of trying to make healthy versions of yummy things, these brownies are a game changer. I've always loved chocolate zucchini cake, but the kind with all of the flour and sugar and butter is all I've known. I saw a version of this recipe online and decided to tweak it a bit and add some spice and voila! Brownies! 

These brownies have great texture and even my husband could not taste any zucchini or "healthy" ingredients. They are chewy, have a good crumb, and actually taste like chocolate. The chocolate chips add an awesome level of deliciousness! The key is how you shred the zucchini. I used a very fine grater (I tried the microplane first and realized it would take a week to grate the zucchini this way!) and it worked great! Grating the zucchini is literally the hardest thing in this recipe. Try these today!!!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup almond butter (I used raw, but any will work)

  • 1 1/2 cup zucchini (peeled and finely grated)

  • 1/3 cup maple syrup

  • 1/3 cup cacao powder

  • 1/3 cup applesauce (unsweetened)

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup chocolate chips (v/gf)

Directions

1. Peel and grate the zucchini.

2. Put the rest of the ingredients into a bowl. Stir together until all ingredients are incorporated.

3. Pour mixture into an 8 x 8 baking pan lined with parchment.

4. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

5. Eat all of the brownies.