Chaga, who!? Chaga, what!?
Adaptogens are popping up everywhere these days, in drinks, in coffee, in powders. But what the heck do they do? Well adaptogens do pretty much what they say, they help your body "adapt" to stressors. Chaga is an adaptogenic mushroom that Birch Boys forages from the Adirondack Mountains. It's mainly known for it's ability to give you long lasting, sustainable energy but has SO many other health benefits! It's an anti-inflammatory, nutrient powerhouse, stress reliever, and immune booster.
Chaga is something that can adapt to anyones lifestyle (see what I did there ;)) and being a fitness instructor, it's important to include something in my life that's going to keep my energy levels high, help my muscles recover, and overall keep my body (and immune system) functioning.
Birch Boys chaga coffee is my favorite product and gives me the energy boost of coffee, without the 3pm crash. I also love their maple chaga tea for an afternoon sip. It's a little earthy, little sweet, and lotta delicious. :D
I wanted to find a way to reuse my coffee grinds since I was brewing it everyday, so I came up with these Chaga-late Coffee Energy Balls! They are also made with cacao powder, flax meal, Further Food collagen, dates, and nuts, which all have their own extra health benefits.
Check out this video to find out why Iove Chaga so much and how to make these all day energy fudge-like balls!
**Always consult your doctor before consuming new supplements.**
25% off your first Birch Boys order w/ code BASOUSA25
10% off Further Food Collagen Peptides w/ code BASOUSA10
Chaga-late Coffee Energy Balls
1/2 cup of cashews
1 cup of pecans
1/3 cup of flax meal
2 scoops of Further Food collagen peptides
1 heaping Tbsp of cacao powder
1 tsp of cinnamon
scant 1/2 tsp of salt
5 pitted dates
1 Tbsp of Birch Boys (brewed) coffee grinds
1 tsp of pure vanilla extract
1-2 Tbsp of water
Place the nuts, flax meal, collagen, cacao powder, cinnamon, chaga coffee, & salt in food processor & pulse until combined (it will be a coarse flour like texture).
Add dates, vanilla, & 1 Tbsp of milk then pulse again until a sticky dough forms. If dry, add another Tbsp of water.
Roll into balls & sprinkle w/ more salt & spice. Store in fridge or freezer.
A collection of all things pumpkin! If you have some cans of pumpkin the need to be used up, here are some ideas.
From top left to bottom right: (click on photo for recipe)
Chocolate Chunk Pumpkin Skillet Cake
Pumpkin Caramel & Peanut Butter Crunch Cups
Pumpkin Spice Bulletproof Latte
Pumpkin Oatmeal & Yogurt Parfait
Pumpkin Blender Pancakes
In the post below, you'll also find my pumpkin muffins which can be turned into waffles!
This cookie skillet is SO easy and SO freaking good, it's always a party or household favorite. No lie, I probably make it 2-3x per month. It always comes out with a crispy crust and slightly soft inside, exacttttllyyy the way a cookie should be!
Chocolate Chunk Cookie Skillet
1/2 cup of tahini
1/2 cup of nut (or seed) butter (any will work - cashew, almond, mixed, sunflower)
1 large egg
3 Tbsp of maple syrup
1/2 tsp of vanilla
1/2 tsp of cinnamon
1/2 tsp of baking soda
1/2 tsp of salt
1/4 cup of chocolate chunks
1 Tbsp of chia seeds (optional)
Preheat oven to 350. Grease 10in. skillet with coconut oil.
Mix all ingredients (minus chocolate chunks) together in a large bowl until well combined and dough forms. Fold in chocolate chunks. Transfer cookie batter into skillet and spread evenly. Top with a few more chocolate chunks & sprinkle with salt (optional).
Bake for 16-18 minutes until golden brown. Let cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.
Yes, it's true - the BEST muffins in the world have just been born!! These came out perfectly crispy on the tops and with cloud like fluff on the inside. I mean, what else could you ask for in a muffin?
I've made a Golden Oat Banana Bread before and the spices made it insanely flavorful so I knew these would be the same but they STILL blew my mind! I used a recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks Against All Grain, Meals Made Simple by Danielle Walker for inspiration to make these grain free/gluten free. There's no added sugar in these muffins so they have the perfect amount of sweetness from the banana. With added protein from the Further Food Collagen Peptides, these make the perfect grab and go breakfast or pre/post workout snack. These muffins are definitely going to be on my weekly rotation!
Golden Milk Banana Muffins
Servings: 10 muffins
3/4 cup of unsweetened sunflower seed butter
1/2 cup of mashed banana
3 TBSP of softened coconut oil
1 tsp of vanilla extract
1/2 tsp of warming spice (or pumpkin pie spice)
1/2 tsp of turmeric
1/2 tsp of cinnamon
1/4 tsp of coriander
1/4 tsp of sea salt
2 tsp of baking powder
1/2 cup of arrowroot powder
2 scoops of Further Food Collagen Peptides*
*Use code BASOUSA10 for 10% off!
Preheat oven to 350 & place liners in (or grease) muffin tin.
In a large bowl combine all ingredients up to baking powder & mix well. Fold in arrowroot powder & collagen peptides until batter forms. Scoop 3 TBSP of batter into each tin (you should get 10 muffins). Optional to add a sprinkle of granola or nuts on top for some crunch.
Bake for 16-18 minutes until golden brown & knife comes out clean. The knife may come out with some banana on it but as long as no batter comes out, they're done. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes then transfer to cooling rack to finish. Once completely cool, store in airtight container in the fridge & reheat/toast to eat.
OK - WHY have I not been making chocolate filled cups at home until now!? It's insane how easy and simple this process was AND how amazing these taste. After seeing these healthy versions of chocolate filled cups popping up all over Instagram (like Eating Evolved), I finally decided to buy my own mold and make some at home.
I wanted these to be a late afternoon snack that I could grab before teaching that was filled with protein, healthy fats, and antioxidants to give me an energy boost before teaching at night. SO, I used raw cacao powder, coconut cashew butter and Further Food collagen peptides. I KNOW, these are like magic in a cup!! They are the perfect pick-me-up treat for a boost of energy or to satisfy a sweet tooth.
If you have social media, you've probably seen collagen peptides popping up everywhere. Well, that's because collagen has so many amazing health benefits for your digestive system, skin/hair/nails, and bones/muscle recovery. I add it to my morning matcha or latte everyday and the best part is, it makes it SO frothy!! From taking collagen peptides daily, I've definitely seen my nails get thicker/stronger and from someone who has had wavy/frizzy hair her whole life, collagen has helped smooth it out and add shine. I do take a few supplements for my digestion but I would like to believe that collagen has taken part in helping strengthen the walls of my digestive system as well. You can visit furtherfood.com to learn more about the health benefits of collagen and if you want to try it, use discount code BASOUSA10 to get 10% off!
Chocolate Collagen Cups with Coconut Cashew Butter
Servings: 6 LARGE cups
1 cup of melted coconut oil
1 cup of raw cacao powder
2 tsp of pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup of Further Food collagen peptides*
big pinch of salt
6 Tbsp of vanilla roasted coconut cashew butter (or nut butter of choice)
You'll also need:
silicon tartlet mold (mine is from Amazon)**
*Use discount code BASOUSA10 for 10% off!
**If you have a cupcake/muffin tin, you can fill it with liners and use that. You may just need to adjust the amount of nut butter per cup.
Make your chocolate: To a liquid measuring cup, add coconut oil, cacao, vanilla, collagen, and salt, then whisk until well combined.
Place silicon mold on top of a cookie sheet, TRUST ME, this will make it easier to transfer without spillage. Add 2 tsp of chocolate to the bottom of each mold cup and swirl around until bottom is coated. Place in the freezer for 5-10 minutes until hardened.
Once chocolate bottoms are hardened, add 1 Tbsp of cashew coconut butter to each mold cup on top of the chocolate. Press down with fingers to flatten and spread out.
Pour remaining chocolate on top of nut butter to fill each mold cup. Place in the fridge overnight (or freezer to harden quicker). Once cups are solid, remove from the mold & EAT THEM! Store extras in the fridge or freezer.
Can a girl ever have enough nut butter? NEVER. Luckily, there's TONS of varieties of nut butters on the market today. So, I decided, why not try my own? The plus of making your own nut butter at home is you can make it any way you want and experiment with combining different nuts (and coconut). This will not be the last nut butter I make at home, stay tuned!
Vanilla Roasted Coconut Cashew Butter
2 cups of raw cashews
2 cups of unsweetened coconut flakes
1 tsp of pure vanilla extract
big pinch of sea salt
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Parchment a large cookie sheet.
Spread cashews and coconut flakes out on the cookie sheet, bake for 12-15 min. until golden brown.
Right out of the oven, transfer toasted cashews and coconut to the food processor. This is important, it will blend and smooth out easier when it's hot! Add vanilla and salt.
Turn on the processor and begin blending until it becomes a coarse meal. Scrape down the sides and keep blending. A sticky ball of paste will start to form, ALMOST THERE, keep going!! Eventually, the mixture will start to smooth and the "butter" will form. See photos above.
Once the butter is to the consistency you prefer, transfer to an airtight jar and store in the fridge. Then, put that *ish* on EVERYTHING!
This granola is FREAKIN' AMAZING. I questioned sharing the recipe and thought maybe I should sell it instead. Lucky you, I decided to share.
Crunchy, delicious, and FULL of nutritional benefits. Put this granola on top of everything and feel good about it.
Superfood Coconut Almond Butter Granola
3 cups of unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup of pepitas
1/4 cup of dry (uncooked) quinoa
1/3 cup of almond butter
1/4 cup of maple syrup
2 Tbsp of avocado oil
1 tsp of vanilla
1/4 tsp of salt
1/2 tsp of warming spice
1/2 tsp of cinnamon
2 Tbsp of superfood seeds (I used a combination of flax, chia, and hemp)
Pre-heat the oven to 300 degrees. Parchment a large cookie sheet.
In a large bowl, combine the coconut flakes, pepitas, and quinoa. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining ingredients except the superfood seeds and mix until well combined. Pour the almond butter mixture over the coconut flake mixture and toss until everything is well coated.
Spread into an even layer on to the cookie sheet. Place in the oven for 10 minutes, toss the mixture, then place back in for another 8-10 minutes until golden brown. Keep an eye, coconut can burn very easily!!
Remove from the oven and toss in the superfood seeds. I like to add these at the end to avoid losing any nutritional value from the heat.
Let the granola mixture cool completely then store in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
WARNING: These are insanely addicting, I just about ate half of them right out of the oven. Spicy, salty, and sweet, you just won't get enough.
These pepitas match wonderfully with Fall flavors including butternut (or any) squash, sprinkle them over some roasted, mashed, or squash soup. They are also the perfect topping for oatmeal, yogurt, or salad so feel free to make a double batch and store in an airtight container.
Servings: ~1.5 cups
~1.5 cups of raw pepitas
1.5 Tbsp of avocado oil (or olive oil)
1 Tbsp of maple syrup
1 Tbsp of coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
1/4 tsp of fall warming spice (or pumpkin spice)
1/8 tsp of salt
1/4 tsp of paprika
few dashes of cayenne pepper
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Parchment a cookie sheet.
Combine all ingredients (minus the pepitas) in a medium size bowl and mix until well combined. Add pepitas and toss until coated then spread the mixture in an even layer on the cookie sheet. Place in the oven for 6-8 minutes until caramelized and fragrant.
Cashew cream is AMAZING. The uses and variations are endless. It's SO easy to make and a useful nutritional replacement to have on hand. The slightly sweet and buttery cashew nut is packed with energy, antioxidants, minerals and vitamins that are essential for long-lasting health.
I recently used it as a replacement for heavy cream in my lightened up chicken pot pies. It gave them the same creamy, rich taste and texture that cream does PLUS healthy brain boosting fats. I've also used it as a frosting for chocolate cupcakes. The recipe below is a base and from there you can take it SO many places! Try it sweet, savory, or spicy.
1 cup of raw organic cashews
Place cashews in a bowl and pour in enough filtered water to cover them completely. Let soak for 2-3 hours minimum (out on the counter is fine) or up to overnight (in the fridge).
After soaking, drain water from cashews. Place cashews in a high-speed blender with (new & clean) filtered water. The amount of water will depend on the thickness you want the cream. If you're making something like a frosting start with a few tablespoons of water. If you're making a liquid cream for soup, pasta, etc. then start with 1 cup and add 1-2 tablespoons at a time until desired consistency is reached.
Once the cream is smooth, pour into an airtight container and store in the fridge until ready to use. This cream will keep around 2 weeks.
I've tried so many different versions of granola over my years of nutritimentation but never felt quite satisfied with the crunch factor. I wasn't going to give up that easy, that's what nutritimentation is all about. It's experimentation, which means it's not always a guaranteed perfect result.
Isn't that the fun part though? Life would be no fun if you always knew the outcome, you gotta' be kept on your toes. No matter what kind of granola life throws your way, don't ever give up! In the end, your effort will pay off.
This recipe sure did pay off. The crunch factor of this granola can't be beat.
Crunchy Coconut Granola Clusters
Servings: ~ 3 cups
1 1/2 cups of coconut flakes
1 tsp of cinnamon
1/4 tsp of salt
~ 3/4-1 cup of coarsely crushed nuts (I used walnuts, almonds, & pecans)
1 Tbsp of chia seeds
1 Tbsp of flax seeds
1/2 cup of sunflower & pumpkin seed mixture
1/2 cup of dried cranberries
cacao nibs (optional)
1 tsp of vanilla extract
1/3 cup of tahini (if the tahini is too thick add 2 Tbsp of coconut oil to loosen)
1/3 cup of brown rice syrup (or honey)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Parchment or grease a cookie sheet.
In a medium bowl, combine the coconut, cinnamon, salt, nuts, chia & flax seeds, and sunflower & pumpkin seeds and give a good toss.
In a separate small bowl, add the tahini, brown rice syrup (or honey), and vanilla extract together, mix well.
Pour the tahini mixture over the coconut mixture and fold together until everything is coated and well combined.
Spread the granola mixture evenly onto the cookie sheet then place in the oven for 8-10 minutes. Halfway through (about 4-5 minutes), remove from the oven and give a toss to make sure all sides get toasted evenly and to break up a bit.
Remove from the oven. Now fold in the dried cranberries and cacao nibs. Let cool on the cookie sheet until it's cool to touch. If needed, break up into small clusters. Store in an air tight container in the fridge.
I’m Brittany and this is ME. I’m a health nerd with a sarcastic sense of humor, a smiling/laughter problem, and a niche in the kitchen. I have a passion for fitness and cooking because together they changed my outlook on life. Live for the moment and do what you love: that’s what’s important. I kick a** in Pilates/Barre and the kitchen because it’s what makes me happy, it’s what I’m good at, and I LOVE it.