building up to the big one: raw almond butter and caramel apple cheesecake squares

raw almond butter and caramel apple cheesecake

so here we are! the final post that will bring it all together. i thought about spitting it up a little more but that just seemed mean ;). if you missed the first two components, check them out here and here

before i get into that though i just have a couple things to say. recently davida wrote a post about the things a year of blogging has taught her and it got me thinking about the last two years. i started this blog because i needed an outlet. and what was the biggest thing i gained?

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building up to the big one: raw vegan caramel

raw almond butter caramel apple cheesecake

last week through me for a little bit of a whirlwind. and in all the unexpected goings-on, i completely forgot to celebrate my little blog’s second anniversary! i can’t believe i have been writing for 2 years and i can’t believe the support i have received during that time. none of this would be possible without all of my wonderful readers, some who have been here since the beginning. thank you all of you for taking time out of your busy schedules to read, comment, try my recipes and most importantly connect with me over something i am truly passionate about. here’s to another 2 years, hopefully during which there will be some big changes going on!

this week will be devoted to building up to an apex recipe, one that is worthy of a celebration like a second anniversary. raw almond butter and caramel apple cheesecake squares. a mouthful- yes. but delicious? hells yes.

i decided to split up the components because each could stand on it’s own without the others. today we will start with a raw vegan caramel sauce. 

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apple kale breakfast salad

Happy Canada Day to all of my fellow Canadians! Hope you are all enjoying a barbeque with a couple drinks in true Canadian fashion ;)


photo credit: Cuppojoe via photopin cc

Today I bring you a recipe with a little pop of red that will help get this day of notoriously not-so-healthy eating off to a great start!

apple kale breakfast salad

Breakfast is probably my most favourite meal of the day and one of my favourites kinds of recipes to create. There’s just something about starting the day of right with a delicious meal that sets you up for the rest of the day. I often go to bed already excited for what I have planned!

The problem was that given my busy schedule, my breakfasts were getting boring. No time to plan combined with too little time in the morning, got me into a breakfast rut. I lost inspiration and even m beloved green smoothies were lack lustre. But then one morning when faced with a sparse fridge with only a little kale and an apple, magic happened.

And that magic was an apple and kale salad with almond butter dressing.

apple kale breakfast salad 2

The idea of a breakfast salad is nothing new. Gena has been doing them for ages and she actually recently posted one that looks amazing! But it was a new thing for me and I honestly didn’t expect to like it as much as I did. My heart was won over though with the combination of steamed kale, crisp apple, sweet almond butter and pumpkin seeds.

It’s an incredibly nourishing way to start your day as well. Tons of fiber, vitamin C, minerals, and healthy fats. It’s so filling too! When you blend all these ingredients up in a smoothie, they go down like nothing in 5 minutes flat. But when you actually have to chew each bite it fills you up wayyy more. I actually split this up into two breakfasts usually- before I leave the house and one a couple hours later. It comes together very quick too. Just need to steam the kale and assemble!

This recipe is more of a template than a real recipe. Feel free to play with it!

Here are a few of my favourite ways to change it up:

  • sauté the apple in a little coconut oil and cinnamon instead of enjoying raw
  • or try a different fruit like pears
  • top with a handful of your favourite granola
  • toss in some dried fruit
  • add some steamed squash or sweet potato or even some pre-cooked grain
  • change up the pumpkin seeds for other nuts
  • anything else you can think of!

apple kale breakfast salad 3

Apple Kale Breakfast Salad with Almond Butter Dressing (Vegan, Gluten-free, Sugar-free, Paleo, SCD)

Ingredients (1 huge salad)

  • 1/2 a bunch of kale, steamed till just bright green
  • 1 apple, chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 1/4 of an avocado, diced
  • 4 strawberries, sliced
  • small handful pumpkin seeds
  • sprinkle of coconut flakes


  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • pinch of sea salt
  • almond milk to thin to desired consistency

Ways to change it up!

  • sauté the apple in a little coconut oil and cinnamon instead of enjoying raw
  • or try a different fruit like pears
  • top with a handful of your favourite granola
  • toss in some dried fruit
  • add some steamed squash or sweet potato or even some pre-cooked grain
  • change up the pumpkin seeds for other nuts
  • anything else you can think of!


First steam your kale. Prep other ingredients while you're waiting. Then mix up your dressing and assemble. Eat to your heart's content :)

apple kale breakfast salad

Have you guys every eaten a salad for breakfast?

Since going vegan, I have found myself eating a lot of “weird things” for breakfast. Like leftovers from lunch or dinner (soups, curries, quinoa pilafs, etc.). Even salads, but they were always “lunch style" salads. This one felt like breakfast in every way!

banana, ab & j cups


Life is full of tough decisions.

saving or spending? buy or rent?

school or work? exercise or sleep in?

superman or batman?

healthy or indulgent? PB & J or PB & banana?

Good news is, I can help with those last 2. Because I have a treat for you that is not only healthy AND indulgent, but it also combines the 2 greatest sandwiches ever created!

I firmly believe that when it comes to nutrition and taste, one should never have to sacrifice either. The trick is simply knowing how to marry both worlds. Being healthy shouldn’t feel like a chore or depriving. It should be fun and exciting!

Enter in some of my absolutely favourite ingredients that help bridge the gap between health and taste. Natural nut butters and coconut oil.


Both are packed full of healthy fats so they are nourishing to your body (better skin, higher metabolism, balanced hormones) but also taste rich and decadent. Almond butter is packed with fat soluble vitamins and minerals like calcium, and coconut oil has incredible antimicrobial properties. So you are doing both your body and taste buds a favour by eating them!

I’m really excited about these treats too because they combine 2 sandwiches that whenever I would eat them, make me feel like a kid again. Peanut butter and jam and peanut butter and banana. Both extremely delicious and soul-satisfying. And that’s why I always want them both! So why not combine them? I opted to use almond butter since its a more nutritious option.

These are adapted from my recipe for frozen tahini banana cups which are another awesome variation on this idea. Check them out if you haven’t yet!

Raw, Gluten-Free, Refined Sugar-Free, Grain-Free, Paleo, SCD-Friendly and of course Vegan, these are an easy choice. So make them and save your brain power for debating the more important issues in life.

To be or not to be…Oh screw it, I have treats ;)

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Banana, AB & J Cups (Vegan, Gluten-free, Sugar-free, Paleo, SCD)

Feel free to use any nut butter you want, or try sunflower seed butter for a nut-free option!

Ingredients (14 mini cups)

  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp almond butter
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp liquid sweetener
  • pinch salt
  • 1 banana, sliced thinly
  • ~12 or so raspberries, mashed


Over low heat, melt the coconut oil. Add the almond butter to it so it softens and mix well. Add your sweetener of choice and the pinch of salt and mix.

Line up your muffin cups. Put a spoonful of the almond butter and coconut oil mixture into the bottom of the cups. Put in the fridge to harden.

Once hard, remove and place one small scoop of mashed raspberries and on top, one thin slice of banana. Try and make this as flat as possible. Put another scoop of the almond butter mixture over top so it covers the banana and spreads all the way to the sides of the cups. Put back in the fridge to harden.

Store in the fridge or freezer and take out only right before you're going to eat them. I liked these ones in the fridge, but if you freeze them the banana takes on an almost ice cream-like texture which is delicious too!

I'm sharing this on Allergy-Free Wednesdays

Enjoy and I’ll be back tomorrow with a guest post! Have a great Tuesday :)



“peanut butter” & caramel-filled chocolate eggs

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Even though I’m not spending Easter with family this year, that does not mean I won’t be eating chocolate.

But not just any chocolate. I’m talking “peanut-butter” and caramel-filled chocolate eggs that would rival any silly Cadbury/Reese/Nestle/Hershey confection.

Guys I am really proud of these.


I decided to go with almonds instead of peanuts in the filling because they are more nutritious (and paleo!) but when combined with the other ingredients, this almond filling really takes on a peanut taste. The medjool dates add a caramelly flavour and the coconut flour gives the filling a nougaty-texture. Best part? This also uses almond pulp leftover from making almond milk! Waste not, want not! If you don’t have almond pulp though don’t worry, almond meal or any ground nut should do the trick.


And let’s not forget the coating. I decided to make my own chocolate shell from my usual cacao powder and coconut oil. I used slightly different ratios than I usually do, but the results are still delicious.

The result? A slightly misshapen (I’m lazy and no culinary genius) but entirely vegan, gluten-free, refined sugar-free, grain-free, raw, paleo, and maybe even other diet-friendly treats that will delight adults and children alike!


Sometimes I think it’s funny I didn’t like nut butters when I was little…clearly I have a love affair with it now ;)

“Peanut Butter” & Caramel-Filled Chocolate Eggs (Vegan, Gluten-free, Sugar-free, Paleo, Raw)

Ingredients (16 eggs)


  • 6 medjool dates, pitted
  • 3 tbsp almond butter
  • 3 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp almond pulp (dry) or almond meal

Chocolate Coating

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup cacao powder
  • 2 tbsp coconut syrup/maple syrup


Add all filling ingredients to the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth. Then add the almond meal and process again until a smooth consistency is reached. Put the filling in the fridge to firm up a little while you make the chocolate.

In a small bowl over low heat, melt the coconut oil. Whisk in the the cacao once melted and add in the coconut syrup. Remove from the heat.

Take the filling out of the fridge and shape into egg-shaped balls. Using 2 forks, dip each "egg" into the chocolate, ensuring all sides are coated. Place onto a parchment paper-lined sheet and continue until all eggs are coated.

Put the eggs in the fridge for about 40 minutes to get firm. Store in the fridge until ready to eat!

I'm sharing these on Raw Foods Thursday & Wellness Weekends!

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Whether you celebrate Easter, Passover or nothing at all, I hope you all have/had a wonderful holiday! See you tomorrow for Healthy Vegan Friday!