Pistachio Thumbprint Cookies with Rose Cashew Cream

Looking to win someone over this Valentine’s Day? Spread the love (or treat yourself!) with these swoon-worthy beauties.

Servings: Makes 24 cookies

 

Ingredients:

For the cookies:

·      4 cups almond meal

·      1/2 cup coconut sugar

·      1/2 cup coconut oil, melted

·      2 teaspoons vanilla extract

·      2 teaspoons baking powder

·      1/4 tsp salt

·      2 flax eggs (2 Tablespoons ground flax seed mixed with 5 Tablespoons water, let sit for 5-10 minutes)

·      1/2 cup pistachios, finely chopped

·      To garnish: Dried rose petals (optional)

 

For the cashew cream:

·      1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water in the refrigerator overnight or on the counter for 4-6 hours

·      1/4 cup nut milk

·      1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

·      2 Tablespoons maple syrup

·      2 Tablespoons sunflower lecithin

·      1 teaspoon vanilla extract

·      1/2 teaspoon rosewater

·      Optional: 1 teaspoon pitaya powder OR a couple teaspoons of beet juice for pink color (I used beet powder)

 

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Combine all ingredients except pistachios in a food processor and process until well combined. Dough should be sticky and feel slightly greasy.

 

2. Roll dough into 24 1-inch balls. Roll in the chopped pistachios, and place on 2 cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. Using your thumb, make an indentation about 3/4 of the way down into the center of each cookie. You might want to reform the edges of the cookies if any cracks form.

 

3. Bake cookies in preheated oven for about 12-15 minutes.

 

4. While cookies are baking, make cashew cream filling by combining all ingredients in a high-speed blender. Blend on high until very smooth (2-3 minutes).

 

5. When the cookies are done baking, let sit for about 10 minutes or so until cool. Using a spoon, dollop some of the cashew cream into the thumbprint of each cookie. Top with dried rose petals, if using. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to a week.

 

Source: http://wuhaus.com/2017/12/13/pistachio-thumbprint-cookies-with-rose-cashew-cream/

 

Blogpost by Ascend content expert, Ashley Hart

Rose Latte
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Heating things up on V- Day? You know it—in the form of this rose latte at least! Rose is known for it’s relaxing properties, so take a break and sip on this beautiful beverage and show yourself some love.

 

This rose latte is both dairy-and refined sugar-free. Serves 1.

 

Ingredients:

·       1 cup non-dairy milk of choice

·       2 teaspoons rose water

·       1 teaspoon vanilla extract

·       3/4 cup frozen raspberries (optional, but recommended for the pink color!)

·       Pinch sea salt

·       1 heaping teaspoon coconut oil (or you can sub coconut butter)

·       2 teaspoons honey (can sub maple syrup)

·       I added 1 scoop collagen peptides for added froth (optional)

·       Edible rose petals to garnish

 

Directions:

1.     In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients save for honey and coconut oil. Bring to simmer, stirring occasionally, and let simmer until the raspberries have begun to dissolve into the milk, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes before blending until smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer, then add coconut oil, honey and blend again until rich and frothy. Serve immediately.

2.     Alternatively, you can skip using the raspberries and simply heat all ingredients, save for honey and coconut oil until just warm. Remove from heat, let cool slightly, then add the honey and coconut oil and blend until rich and frothy. Serve immediately.

 

Source: http://www.sproutedroutes.com/rose-latte/

 

Blogpost written by Ascend content expert Ashley Hart.

 

Self Love Reboot

Self Love Reboot

Whether or not you’re into celebrating Valentine’s Day and all that comes with it, we want to make sure you’re getting a dose of your own affection. At first, it may sound cliché, but self-love is at the foundation of greater well-being.

 

As we dote on those we adore this Valentine’s holiday, let’s give ourselves a little dose of love too. Expressing compassion and love toward others can often feel more natural than caring for yourself. But think about how it might feel if you had your own back—the way you do for your closest friend, colleague, or partner—and imagine the shift that could bring. Self-love provides greater stability in navigating life’s ups-and-downs with more ease. It gives us the confidence to try to new things and take risks because we know we are enough, despite outcomes of success or failure. It enables us to receive love, deepen our relationships with others, and live a more abundant life.

 

What is self-compassion?

In a nutshell, self-compassion means caring for yourself as you would another. It’s the act of supporting yourself through challenges, failures, and setbacks with unconditional love. It’s accepting yourself entirely (the good, the bad, and the ugly) and where you are on your current path. Acceptance can be difficult, but it’s often the resistance to accepting a situation, a circumstance, or an attribute that brings about negative thoughts or feelings. Overcoming our imperfections and flaws exudes true beauty.

 

Self-love practices

Self-compassion takes practice, but the benefits are worth it. While we’re not pretending to be experts at this by any means, we certainly stand behind the notion of welcoming more positivity and self-growth. We’ve compiled some tips to help us all exercise greater self-love.

 

Try these tips to spread more warmth and kindness to yourself:

 

1.    Be aware of your internal dialogue. You know it, that internal voice that’s eager to criticize every wrong move, ultimately leading you to feel unworthy and insecure. Could you imagine talking to a friend the same way you talk to yourself when failure strikes? While you may find this voice motivating and think without it that you would be unproductive, it’s important to remember that self-compassion does not mean self-indulgence (or self-pity, or having a big ego). It doesn’t mean letting yourself off the hook for everything because you deserve it all; rather it is reframing your thoughts to observe without judgment and speak to yourself with kindness. Since our inner voice guides our thoughts, and thoughts influence our actions, self-talk has a big impact on what becomes our reality. So the next time your negative internal voice creeps up, acknowledge it—then tell it to F off and choose again.  

 

2.    Practice self-care. Taking time to recharge your own batteries allows you to put your best self forward. Whatever it is that brings you joy and ignites your fire—hot baths, long walks, meditation, aromatherapy, reading, cooking, journaling, or feeding your creativity—prioritize incorporating these activities into your week. You may need to actually write it in your calendar (if you don’t, no one else will!). Self-care also means caring for your body and mind; adequate sleep, eating nourishing foods, and getting regular physical exercise are all ways you can show care for yourself on a daily basis.

 

3.    Disconnect (step away from the ‘gram!). Put down your electronic devices and simply be present in the moment. Some find it helpful to schedule specific times during the day to respond to personal emails and check social media. Sure, social media can be an endless source of inspiration, but not at the cost of missing out on what’s happening in your own life. It often leads to comparison, which is a joy thief. Moderation, friends!

 

4.    Keep a sense of humor and have some fun. This goes without saying, right? Maintaining a sense of humor keeps us grounded, and can quickly shift our mindset, elevating our mood. Sometimes a good belly laugh is all you need for a reset. Spend time with those who you make you laugh and feel good.    

 

Love is ever-present within and around us. The act of self-care just helps us see it more clearly.

 

Blogpost written by Ascend content expert Ashley Hart.

Overnight Oats, Five Ways
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We’ve got overnight oats on the brain! They’re a quick and nourishing breakfast or snack that’s portable and incredibly easy to throw together. Take a few minutes in the evening to prep your oats, and you’ll have a healthy breakfast at your fingertips come morning.

 

Healthful benefits & versatility

 

The health benefits of oats are vast; in addition to dietary fiber, they contain many vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. The consumption of oats has been linked to lowering risk of coronary heart disease, improving cholesterol levels, and reducing risk of colorectal cancer. The fiber keeps you satiated (you stay satisfied and full longer), which may aid weight loss efforts. Not to mention, you can easily toss in extra goodies when preparing overnight oats to boost flavor and nutrients!

 

Why soak oats overnight? By soaking oats, you improve their digestibility and create a soft, creamy texture. If you find oats to be hard on your stomach, try mixing in a splash of lemon juice to your liquid before soaking. The acid neutralizes the phytic acid (naturally found in the outside layer of the grain) that can interfere with digestive enzymes and possibly reduce the absorption of important minerals. What’s better than having your food put in work while you snooze? When soaking oats, choose old-fashioned rolled oats (vs. quick or steel cut) as they hold up best to the liquid. Gluten-free options are available, too.

 

Overnight oats are wonderfully versatile and the flavor combinations are endless. Try enhancing your oats with tangy coconut yogurt or Greek yogurt, collagen peptides, plant protein, pumpkin puree, adaptogens, spices, or superfoods such as maca, matcha, moringa, or spirulina. For sweetness, you can swap out maple syrup for raw honey, use mashed banana, or try blending your ingredients with pitted Medjool dates before adding to your jar. Toppings can include fruit, nuts, nut butters, warmed berries, chia jam, coconut flakes, granola, or cacao nibs—you name it! If you prefer your oats warmed, simply prepare as directed and heat on the stovetop or in the microwave before enjoying.

 

Note that a single serving is one half cup (dry oats), so you can double up or divide as needed for desired number of servings. Overnight oats will last several days in the refrigerator in a container with a lid. Try these recipes or make up your own!

 

Basic overnight oats:

 

Ingredients:

1 cup rolled oats

1 ¼ - 1 ½ almond milk (or plant milk of choice)

1 Tbsp organic pure maple syrup

1 Tbsp chia seeds (if omitting, adjust the liquid to oats ratio 1:1)

Dash of sea salt

 

Directions:

Add all ingredients to a Mason jar or container with a lid. Stir or shake to combine, and refrigerate overnight. Add your favorite toppings and enjoy.

 

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1. Berry Oats:

Basic recipe, plus:

·      ½ cup of raspberry, mashed

·      small handful of blueberries

·      1 scoop collagen peptides 

·      1 tsp vanilla powder (you can find vanilla powder at health food stores or substitute pure vanilla extract)

·      dash of fresh lemon zest (optional)

Suggested toppings: raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, or strawberries, coconut flakes, almonds, or fresh lemon zest

 

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2. Spirulina Oats

Basic recipe, plus:

·      1 tsp vanilla powder

·      1 tsp spirulina

·      1 scoop collagen peptides

·      additional 1 Tbsp of maple syrup or sweetener of choice

Suggested toppings: bee pollen, frozen blueberries, yogurt, coconut, kiwi or dragon fruit

 

Recipe inspiration: https://healthfullyeverafter.co/food-nutrition-recipe-blog/2018/1/3/tropical-spirulina-overnight-oats

 

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3. Apple Pie Oats

Basic recipe, plus:

·      ½ tsp ground cinnamon

·      1/8 tsp allspice

·      ½ - 1 apple, chopped (baked apples would be delicious!)

·      dash of ground ginger

Suggested toppings: almond butter, walnuts, cinnamon, pumpkin seeds, granola

 

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4. Creamy Matcha Oats

Basic recipe (best with coconut milk), plus:

·      1 tsp matcha

·      1 tsp vanilla powder

·      dash of ground cinnamon

·      1 tsp coconut powder (optional)

Suggested toppings: coconut flakes, dissected coconut, berries of choice

 

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5. Energizing Maca, Almond Butter, and Cacao

·      1½ cups unsweetened almond milk

·      1 cup rolled oats

·      2 tablespoons chia seeds

·      2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

·      2 tablespoons almond butter

·      1 tablespoon maca powder

·      1 tablespoon cacao powder

·      2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

·      Optional addition: add adaptogens of choice (I used 1 tsp Sun Potion Anandamide bliss alchemy mix, which is a blend of raw cacao with macuna, astragalus, ashwagandha, and reishi along with additional spices).

Suggested toppings: cacao nibs, banana, pomegranate seeds, almond or peanut butter

 

Recipe source: https://www.blissfulbasil.com/energizing-maca-almond-butter-cacao-overnight-oats/

 

If you’re not already enjoying overnight oats, we hope you’ll give them a try for a healthy grab-and-go breakfast (even if enjoyed at home). We predict that they’ll soon become a staple in your breakfast routine, too. Tag us (@ascendcycle) with your creations!

 

Want more breakfast inspo? Check out these posts: cauliflower and coconut porridge pots and strawberries and cream chia pudding.

 

Blogpost written by Ascend content expert, Ashley Hart.

Craving curry? Try this: sweet potato, ginger, spinach & tofu curry

Curry dishes are amazing for so many reasons; warming spices, creamy coconut milk, and the fact that you can squeeze in SO many nutritious vegetables (just toss in what’s on hand, there’s no right or wrong!). Flavors meld together beautifully the longer it sits in the fridge, so it’s a great meal to prep in advance and eat throughout the week (or freeze). Trust us, you’ll want to have curry on repeat this winter.

Ingredients:

2 tbsp coconut oil

1 yellow onion

3 cloves garlic

1 large chunk (2 inches) fresh ginger root

2 tsp ground turmeric

½ tsp ground cumin (optional)

1 tsp salt

1 large sweet potato

1 broccoli

1 cauliflower

2 cans coconut milk

7 oz tofu, drained and cut into 1 inch cubes

2 large handfuls fresh spinach

½ lime, juiced

Serve with:

A large handful cashew nuts, pan roasted

2 cups cooked quinoa or rice

a sprinkle of nigella seeds (optional)

fresh coriander/cilantro (optional)

Instructions:

1.     Add coconut oil to a large saucepan on medium heat. Peel and finely chop onion, garlic and ginger and add to the pan together with the turmeric and cumin. Stir, and cook until onion is soft (a few minutes).

2.     Meanwhile, peel and cut the sweet potatoes into 1-inch cubes. Add the sweet potato to the pan and sauté for a few minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent burning. Add a splash of water or more oil if the spices stick to the bottom of the pan.

3.     Cut broccoli and cauliflower into florets and add to the pan together with the coconut milk and tofu. Cook until the sweet potatoes are tender (about 15 minutes).

4.     Remove from heat; add spinach and a squeeze of lime juice and stir. Add more salt/spices if needed.

5.     Serve in bowls with cooked quinoa, cashews, nigella seeds and fresh coriander.

Note: I used a lot of veggies, so needed to add a bit more coconut milk/water. You can also top with red pepper flakes for a little kick! Feel free to adjust the recipe to your taste preference or to use what items you have on hand.

Recipe source: http://www.greenkitchenstories.com/the-no-recipe-curry/

 

Healthy Portions At A Glance

What do healthy portions look like? Learn practical strategies to build a healthier plate.

While we feel strongly that the quality of food in your diet is more important than the quantity of what you eat, it’s impossible to ignore the increasing portion sizes in our food industry that continue to grow alongside our nation’s obesity epidemic (have you seen the size of a small drink at the movie theater lately?). Bigger portion sizes are not the only factor causing us to eat more—new social norms, numerous environmental stimuli, increased access to food, and targeted advertising all play a hand. Choosing better quality foods while keeping portion sizes in check leads to more balanced, healthier eating patterns.

Portions vs. serving sizes: what’s the difference?

First, let’s break down the difference between a serving size and portion size because they’re not the same thing. A serving size is a measurable amount of food, usually presented in cups or ounces. Serving sizes are used as guidance for recommended intake by health professionals, and associated with nutrition content on the Nutrition Facts Label of a food product. You’ll notice that packaged products usually contain more than one serving. Portion size refers to the actual amount of food on your plate, put there by you or someone else in a restaurant setting. 

Serving size guidelines: hand it to me

The quantity of food one should consume each day depends on a variety of factors including gender, size, activity level, and wellness goals. That being said, this is intended as general guidance so you can be more mindful of what a single serving looks like when you dish out your portions. Check out these hand symbols to see how serving sizes vary by type of food:

Vegetables

·      Cooked vegetables = closed fist (1 cup)

·      Dark leafy greens = 2 closed fists (2 cups)

Fruit

·      Medium piece of fruit (apple, etc.) = closed fist (1 cup)

·      Berries = cupped hand/closed fist (1/2 – 1 cup)

·      Dried fruit = closed cupped hand (1/4 cup)

Grains

·      Rice/pasta/quinoa/oats, etc. = cupped hand (1/2 cup)

·      Bread = flat hand (1 slice)

Protein

·      Chicken/beef/fish = palm of hand (3 oz)

·      Beans/legumes (cooked) = cupped hand (1/2 cup)

·      Tofu = palm of hand (3 oz)

·      Hummus = 2 thumbs (2 tablespoons)

Healthy fats & oils; nuts and seeds

·      Healthy oils/ghee = thumb (1 tablespoon)

·      Nuts/seeds = closed cupped hand (1/4 cup)

·      Nut butters = thumb (1 tablespoon)

Dairy (and dairy alternatives)

·      Cheese = pointed finger (1.5 oz)

·      Cow’s milk or nut milk = closed fist (1 cup)

·      Yogurt = closed fist (1 cup)

Picture this: how to build a healthy plate

Another visual tool for healthy eating is to look at how different foods fill your plate at each meal. Nutrition experts at Harvard School of Public Health have created the Healthy Eating Plate, which can be found in detail here but recommends simply dividing your plate as follows:

½ your plate  = mostly vegetables and some fruit (choose a wide variety of veggies; eat fruits of all colors)

¼ your plate = whole grains (eat a variety of whole grains and limit refined grains)

¼ your plate = healthy protein (limit red meat and cheese; avoid processed meats)

They also encourage the use of healthy oils, limiting butter, and avoiding trans fat. More emphasis is placed on drinking water, tea and coffee, while limiting dairy and avoiding sugary drinks. Physical activity is also promoted as part of this guidance. Leave it to the Harvard folks to have some really solid (and practical) advice! Just watch the size of those plates, okay?

As we transition our food consumption to include more quality ingredients and real food, we develop a better since of intuitive eating. This includes eating when we’re hungry, recognizing signals for when we’re full, and knowing what foods fuel us best. However, because it takes some time to learn how to tune into your body’s own cues, these visual guides can more readily keep consumption within a healthy range.

Whatever strategy you choose to follow to ensure you’re eating the right amount of nourishing food, ditch the diet mentality and focus on filling your plate with healthier choices. The goal is to find and implement approaches that lead YOU to better wellness.

 

Blogpost written by Ascend content expert Ashley Hart

Healthy Dinner in a Flash: One Pan Roasted Garlic Salmon and Broccoli

Looking for a quick and nourishing dinner that doesn’t require much clean up? This one pan roasted salmon and broccoli will keep you on track with your wellness goals without the need to spend all night in the kitchen. So simple, yet packed full of nutrients. Whip this up with a side of pesto quinoa or millet and you and your family will be happy campers.

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

1 ½ pounds salmon fillets, cut into 4 portions and preferably skinned

2 heads of broccoli, washed and trimmed

3-4 tablespoons oil of choice (avocado, coconut or evoo)

3-4 cloves of garlic, minced

sea salt

freshly cracked black pepper

pesto (store bought or homemade) - optional

1 lemon, sliced

Directions:

1.     Preheat oven to 450 F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

2.     Arrange salmon pieces on the lined pan. Add a dash of olive oil on each piece of fish. Sprinkle with some of the garlic and layer sliced lemon on top OR spread a thin layer of pesto on each fish. Add a sprinkle of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

3.     Next, add your cleaned and prepped broccoli florets to a large bowl. Add 2 Tbsp of olive oil along with some sea salt, pepper, and garlic (optional). Toss to evenly coat the florets. Arrange the broccoli on the pan around the salmon pieces.

4.     Bake in the oven for 13-15 minutes until salmon is done and broccoli is slightly golden.

5.     Enjoy warm.

Optional: Serve with a side of quinoa or millet. Cook according to package directions and then spoon in as much pesto as desired.

Adapted from https://www.thenaturalnurturer.com/blog/one-sheet-roasted-garlic-salmon-broccoli

The Year of You: Setting Goals and Intentions for 2018

Make It Yours. That’s our mantra this year and theme for the January challenge. It’s time to find what nourishes you, allowing your best self to thrive.

 

This January, instead of setting restrictive resolutions that simply can’t be maintained due to their unrealistic nature (and not to mention bring about a sense of frustration and disappointment), why don’t we channel this renewed energy to find what truly nourishes us from the inside out. Let’s shift our perspective to set intentions and goals that enhance how amazing we already are, while encouraging (or nudging) our inner badass to unleash. You in?

 

What does it mean to set goals and intentions that align with a better version of you?

 

Simply put, it means taking inventory of what makes you feel healthy, strong, alive, and vibrant—and finding ways to invest your time, thoughts, and actions in more of those things. Don’t worry so much about what to remove from your life, or eating patterns, rather focus on including more of the good stuff. By adding in more of what you love, you’ll naturally lessen space for other things—in life and on your plate—without initiating feelings of deprivation. There’s no one perfect roadmap to health and wellness. No one-size-fits-all diet or lifestyle. We’re different and all have vastly different needs, and this acknowledgment gives you the freedom and space to find what best nourishes YOU.

 

Ready to get started? Follow these steps to outline your goals:

 

Step 1: Identify your goal

 

Whether you prefer to call them intentions or goals, the first step is self-reflection. Slowing down, and reviewing your past year can provide insight on how to move forward. What brought joy or ease to your days, and what did the opposite? What made you feel healthy, energetic, sexy, or unstoppable? Looking back helps us understand what we crave more of and why.

 

Next, decide what it is that you want. This may come easily for some, and take more digging for others. Be honest with yourself, here. Cut through the noise and think about what you truly want and what helps you feel your best—not what you think you should want or do based on messages from society (or Instagram!). Once identified, it’s time to streamline your want into a goal.

 

Step 2: Establish a realistic framework

 

You can list your goals and action steps however you like (there’s no right or wrong way), but write it down—it signals to your brain that you mean business. The emphasis here is to make sure that your goal is within reach and can match realistic behavior change. When you start with smaller goals and consistently achieve them, you build the confidence and desire to continue doing more of what makes you feel good, and can more easily move back into balance when you fall off track (it happens!). Some find the S.M.A.R.T. acronym to be a helpful tool. This framework states that your goal should be the following:

 

·      Specific: Establish a well-defined goal. For example, if you want to exercise more consistently because you love feeling energetic, set a goal to plan out X number of workouts each week including what activity and when. If you want to practice meditation, you could start with the goal of 5-10 minutes, 3 days a week using an app such as Calm or Headspace. Turn your goal into an action step.

·      Measurable: How will you track your progress? A measuring system allows you to quantify and visually track how far you’ve come. Log your progress in a journal, notebook, fitness tracker, or find an app—whatever works for you.

·      Achievable: Is this goal within your reach? It’s easy to dream up lofty goals when we’re excited and motivated to enhance our lives. Ensure that your goal is achievable given your current circumstances and resources.

·      Realistic: Start small. If you feel better when you eat more veggies, set the goal for half of your plate to consist of veggies for one meal per day. You can always add more!

·      Time-bound: Setting a timeframe helps you focus on an end point versus completing your goal one day in the future. You don’t have to plan yearlong goals; you can set new goals and intentions each month or start anytime throughout the year.

 

Step 3: Support Yourself

 

In addition to establishing a realistic framework, you’re more likely to achieve your goal and prevent burnout if you’ve got a support system in place. Our tips to help you stay the course, include:

 

·      Self-Care: The act of self-care extends beyond hot baths and massages (though whatever relaxes you is strongly encouraged), to really having your own back. Be unapologetic about what makes you happy and say no to obligations that don’t energize you at the core. Exert kindness towards yourself when you encounter setbacks. Supporting yourself as you would a dear friend or family member (which includes the tone of your inner voice) will help you develop stronger self-integrity, influencing behavior.

·      Mindfulness: Slowing down and tuning into ourselves enables us live in the moment and be more present. Instead of perfecting the art of multitasking, focus on a specific task at hand, especially as it relates to your goal. By paying attention to how we feel, we learn to recognize when we need a break—from exercise, electronic devices, or people—which helps preserve our energy. Practicing meditation, yoga or just taking solo breaks helps us remain centered so we don’t sweat the small stuff (and thus, lose our sh*t less often!).

·      Community: Surround yourself with people who lift you up, encourage, motivate, and celebrate you. An accountability buddy can help you track progress while providing motivation along the way.

 

Finally, remember that goals and intentions are fluid. They may need to be altered as circumstances or visions change. We evolve; it’s our nature. Each month, check in with yourself to see if your goals are still on point or need to be adjusted. Don’t forget to acknowledge your wins along the way!

 

No matter your goal, we hope you’ll prioritize more of what makes you feel amazing and invest in yourself year-round.

 

Superfood Snacks & Sips To Ring In 2018

As we close out the year, we’re reflecting upon all of the accomplishments—big and small—that have helped us grow stronger, climb higher and ascend. We’re proud of, and grateful for, our Ascend community—and can’t wait to see what we’ll achieve together in 2018. It’s time to set new intentions and goals as we welcome the year ahead—and we’ll be snacking on these superfood goodies as we do just that. These homemade treats make great gifts, too!

 


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Sugar-and-Spice Nuts

The hint of spice perfectly balances the sweetness of these nuts. This recipe calls for regular sugar, but you could easily substitute another sugar if you choose. These are delightfully easy to prepare and they make your house smell amazing.

 

Servings: makes 5 cups

 

Ingredients:

¾ cup sugar

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon chile powder

2 teaspoons cinnamon

2 teaspoons cayenne pepper

1 large egg white

2 cups raw cashews (9 ounces)

2 cups raw almonds (9 ounces)

 

Directions:

1.     Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Coat a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray (or use parchment paper).

2.     In a small bowl, whisk the sugar with the salt, chile powder, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper.

3.     In a large bowl, beat the egg white until frothy. Add the almonds and cashews, stir to coat with the egg white mix, then add the spiced sugar and toss.

4.     Spread the nuts out on the prepared baking sheet and bake for about 45 minutes, stirring once, until browned.

5.     Let the nuts cool on the baking sheet, stirring occasionally.

 

Source: http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/sugar-and-spice-nuts

 


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Reishi Chocolate Almonds

If you’re looking for ways to add healing mushrooms to food, this one’s for you. The recipe calls for reishi, but I had an adaptogenic mushroom mix on hand that I used. You can also leave this out if you wish. Finish your chocolate almonds with a sprinkle of sea salt and you’ve got a satisfying superfood treat that won’t disappoint.*

 

Servings: makes about 1 cup

 

Ingredients:

6 ounces dark chocolate

1 teaspoon reishi mushroom mix (or another adaptogenic mushroom mix)

1/3 cup raw honey

pinch of ground cinnamon

1 cup raw almonds (unblanched; soaked for at least 4 hours - optional)

sea salt (optional)

 

Directions:

1.     Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2.     Melt the chocolate in a double boiler over low heat, about 10 minutes. (Alternatively, you can microwave for one minute, then additional 15-second increments as needed). Add your mushroom mix to the melted chocolate and stir well to combine.

3.     Meanwhile, combine honey, cinnamon and 1/3 cup water in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Once simmering, stir in the almonds and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.

4.     Pour the honey-coated almonds into the chocolate and stir until all are coated evenly. Spread the chocolate-covered almonds over the prepared baking sheet and set aside to cool, allowing them to harden for at least 1 hour before serving.

5.     Add a sprinkle of sea salt just before serving. Enjoy!

 

Source: https://goop.com/recipes/reishi-chocolate-almonds/

*Note: Pregnant and breastfeeding women should consult with their doctor before taking any supplements. 

 


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Anti-inflammatory (or Recovery) Tonic: Big Batch Golden Milk

Anyone else feel like they’re glowing from the inside out when sipping on some golden milk? Perfect for the winter months (or post-party recovery), and loaded with anti-inflammatory turmeric (refresh yourself on turmeric’s benefits here), golden milk can be even easier to whip up when you have a pre-made spice mix on hand. This recipe makes quite a lot, but know that you can add this spice mix to curry dishes, soups, stews, and smoothies, too. I halved the recipe and still filled a couple small mason jars. Share with friends and family to enjoy all winter long (don’t forget to include the golden milk recipe).

 

Servings: approximately 120

 

Ingredients:

1 ½ cup ground turmeric

2/3 cup ground ginger

1/3 cup ground cinnamon

2 ½ tablespoons ground pepper

2 tablespoons ground cardamom

scant 3 tablespoons ground cloves

2 ½ tablespoons ground nutmeg

3 tablespoons ground star anise

¼ cup ground coriander

Note: you can buy spices in bulk at MOM’s Organic Market

 

Directions:

1.     Combine all spices in a large bowl. Sir well.

2.     Transfer mix to large jar or several smaller ones and seal with an airtight lid.

3.     Keeps for up to 6 months.

 

Golden Milk Recipe (single serving)

Ingredients:

½ tablespoon golden milk spice mix

1 cup milk of choice (such as coconut milk, cashew milk or almond milk)

½ - 1 teaspoon virgin coconut oil (or you can use coconut butter or ghee)

½ - 1 teaspoon sweetener of choice (maple syrup or raw honey)

 

Directions:

In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm milk until just before it simmers. Whisk in golden milk spice blend until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in coconut oil and sweetener. Enjoy!

 

Source: https://www.mynewroots.org/site/

 

Happy New Year!

Gingerbread Whoopie Pies

Keep the holiday baking going strong with these dairy- and gluten-free gingerbread whoopie pies. A cleaned up version of the gingerbread cookies from childhood; these pies satisfy your sweet tooth without raising your blood sugar levels. Did we mention coconut filling? Yum.

 

Servings: 12 whoopie pie sandwiches

 

Ingredients

 

For the cookie:

1 cup Cup4Cup gluten-free flour

1 cup almond flour

2 teaspoons ground ginger

½ teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

½ cup coconut oil

½ cup coconut sugar

1 egg

1 cup unsweetened applesauce (room temperature)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

¼ cup molasses

 

For the filling:

1 can coconut milk, refrigerated overnight

1 tablespoon maple syrup (I used a little extra)

pinch of kosher salt

 

Directions:

 

1.     Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2.     Combine the first 7 ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk together.

3.     Place the coconut oil and coconut sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream together until smooth and combined.

4.     Add the egg, mix, then beat in the applesauce, vanilla, and molasses. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and mix to combine.

5.     Spoon heaping tablespoons of batter onto two parchment-lined baking sheets (you should have 12 on each sheet), and use your fingers to press them into flat, roughly 2-inch rounds.

6.     Bake in a preheated oven for 12 minutes. Remove and let cool to room temperature.

7.     While the cookies cool, make the coconut filling. Open the can of coconut milk and scoop the solid cream into a large bowl. Use a fork to break up any large clumps, then whisk until just smooth. Whisk in the maple syrup and a pinch of salt.

8.     Divide the cream filling between half of the cooled cookies, and top with a second cookie to make a sandwich.

9.     Place in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes to harden up, then serve.

 

Source: https://goop.com/recipes/gingerbread-whoopie-pies/