no refined sugar

Choco-Banana Berry Smoothie Bowl

Are you ready for a new summer dessert staple?! Smoothie bowls are what my kids refer to as "ice cream"…seriously! And this one I'm sharing today happens to be a favorite around here in the Allen household.


The trick is to use plenty of frozen produce and adjust the liquid as you go to get the right consistency. Get creative with toppings! Berries, coconut flakes, dark chocolate chips, nuts and seeds all work well. 


Yes, it contains cauliflower, and yes, it’s yummy. 

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Choco-Banana Berry Smoothie Bowl 

Makes 2 servings 



Ingredients: 


1 frozen banana, sliced 
1 cup frozen cauliflower 
1 cup frozen berries of your choice 
⅓ cup canned coconut milk (shake it up first!) 
⅓ cup coconut water as needed (or regular water) 
¼ cup raw cacao powder 
1 tbsp nut butter of your choice 
Pinch of Himalayan sea salt (optional) 


Directions: 


1. Pour a little bit of the water in the bottom of your high-speed blender, then add banana, cauliflower, berries, coconut milk, cacao powder, nut butter, and salt in the blender. Add the rest of the water. 

2. Blend until smooth, scraping the sides as needed. This will be thick. Add more water if necessary. 

3. Place in two bowls and eat immediately with a big smile on your face. 


Talk soon,
Tara

P.S. Are you on instagram? Me too! I'm @tara_allen_health over there. I'd love to hang out with you in between our weekly emails. 

Pistachio-Apple Bars

These Pistachio-Apple bars are amazing!


Magnolia and Jagger’s schools don’t allow nuts due to children’s allergies, so we rely a lot on nuts at home. These bars are the perfect after-school snack or dessert!

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Pistachio-Apple Bars with Chia Seeds (Servings 14)


Ingredients:


• 1/3 cup cashew butter 

• 1/3 cup honey 

• 1 tablespoon olive oil 

• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

• 1/2 teaspoon salt 

• 1 1/4 cups puffed rice

• 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats 

• 1/4 cup finely chopped dried apple 

• 1/4 cup chopped dried cranberries 

• 1/3 cup chopped dry-roasted pistachios

• 1 teaspoon black chia seeds


Directions:


1. Preheat oven to 350°

2. In a microwave safe bowl, mix cashew butter, honey, olive oil, vanilla, and salt. 

3. Microwave on HIGH 1 minute. 

4. In a separate bowl, combine puffed rice, oats, apple, cranberries, and pistachios. 

5. Pour cashew mixture over puffed rice mixture, and toss gently to combine. 

6. Press into an 11 x 7-inch, greased glass baking dish. 

7. Sprinkle the top with chia seeds, pressing down lightly to stick them to the mixture.

8. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes. Cool, slice, and enjoy!


How do these sound to you?

In good health,

Tara

P.S. You can totally reduce the honey to make these even healthier. I’ve made them with about 1/2 the amount for a lower glycemic version (because...PCOS) and they were delicious!

Almond Coconut Bliss Balls

Hellooooooooooooooo!

It's December 3rd.  Yup.  Go check, I'll wait.

:-)

Well, sometimes you need a break from the fancy-schmancy cookies and pies that turn your kitchen upside down and your floors into a flour skating rink.

I feel ya.

Try these Almond Coconut Bliss Balls!

These are a delicious snack or dessert and require NO BAKING!  They come together quickly, so they work wonders when you're in a pinch and need to bring something sweet to your office potluck, your next holiday party, or just to have something on hand for out-of-towners.

<<<These are gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free, grain-free, no refined sugar, vegan>>>

Enjoy!

In good health,

Tara

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Almond Coconut Bliss Balls

 

Ingredients:

1 cup coconut flakes (unsweetened)

½ cup almond flour

2 T honey

2T coconut oil

1 tsp pure almond extract

½ tsp cinnamon

 

Directions:

1.    Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.

2.    Refrigerate for 30 minutes to harden.

3.    Roll into balls (approximately 1 T each).

4.    Place in freezer on a wax paper covered plate for at least 1 hour.

5.    Keep in container in freezer or refrigerator and serve cold (will melt if left out too long).

Oatmeal Bites

 

Full disclosure here...

Sometimes it gets quite tedious to feed Jagger (the baby) anything liquid-y and messy like oatmeal.  Often, his time in the highchair eating breakfast is when I like to chat about what we're doing for the day, eat my own breakfast, and/or load the dishwasher while no one is trying to crawl inside.

I decided it was about time to create another recipe that got in some healthy, breakfast ingredients in convenient, finger-food bites.

Alas, these oatmeal bites were born.

Jagger-dude polishes these off within minutes and Magnolia feels like she's getting dessert for breakfast.  I don't correct her - these could absolutely be used for a dessert at well!  

I've since experimented by adding and subbing lots of other mix-ins, and let me tell you, these bad boys are pretty versatile!  Feel free to get creative and let me know how they come out for you.

Oatmeal Bites

Ingredients:

  • 2.5 cups of quick oats (we use gluten free)
  • 1 cup pureed carrot (pumpkin or sweet potato work well too)
  • 2 large & ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 medium & ripe avocado, mashed
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 T crushed walnuts (optional)
  • 2 T raisins (optional)
  • 1/2 large carrot, grated - save half for garnish (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together dry ingredients.
  3. In a blender, mix the wet ingredients and add to dry ingredients.
  4. Spread batter in a greased, 8X8 cake pan.  (Any baking pan with an edge will be fine, just keep a close eye and adjust cooking times).
  5. Add grated carrot garnish to tops, if using.
  6. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until top is golden brown and batter no longer jiggles.  
  7. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before cutting into squares (or triangles or dinosaurs…whatever will make your kiddo smile).

Enjoy!

 

In good health,

Tara

 

Banana Bread ---> grain-free, dairy-free

It's Spring break, Easter, and Passover all this week!  You may need a good dessert that doubles as breakfast and snacks for the kids this week.  It should hold up well in the freezer, be delicious, taste like a treat, and be nourishing to you, your kids, and your guests.  Am-I-right?!?!  

This Banana Bread was born out of the need to use up my mushy bananas.  I already have a freezer stash to use for smoothies and to make 'nice cream', so I wanted to make bread.  For us, it needed to be gluten-free, dairy-free, no refined sugars, full of healthy fat, protein, and fiber.  I'm fueling my busy & active body along with my family's.  And, with the things my toddler says on the regular, let me tell you, her brain is very happy with the kinds of fuel it's been getting!  ;-)  

Example from today:

Magnolia to Jagger:  "Jagger, please stop jumping in your crib.  We worked very hard for that bed and I wouldn't want to have to buy a new one and put it together again."

So, I'm sure your kiddos are just as hilarious - especially when they're getting in that good nutrition!  Leave me a comment and tell me what funny things they've said recently.  

And, make this bread immediately (if there are no egg or nut allergies in the house).  It's a good one to have on hand for a busy & special week like this one.

Banana Bread

(gluten-free, dairy-free)

 

Ingredients:

 

4 large eggs

4 bananas (ripe or overripe)

½ cup almond butter (sub: peanut butter)

4 T coconut oil, melted (plus extra to grease pan)

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

3/5 cup hazelnut flour (sub: almond flour)

1 T cinnamon

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp sea salt

 

 

Directions:

 

1.    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2.    Combine all wet ingredients in a blender.

3.    Add dry ingredients to blender and mix well.

4.    Grease an 8X8 cake pan (ok to use loaf pan, but cooking times will vary).

5.    Pour batter into pan and bake for 35-45 minutes. (or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean).  Top of bread should be golden-brown and center should be set.

6.    Allow to cool before slicing and serving. 

Holiday Spiced Sugar Cookies

Baby it's cold outside!  And, with the holiday parties, cookie exchanges, and uber-sweet festivities practically upon us, we need a new cookie recipe!!!  

For me, baking Christmas cookies with my mom is an annual tradition and one we haven't missed for even one year.  We follow my Grandmother's recipe and I feel bittersweet knowing although I never had the chance to meet her, that we are now 4 generations of girls/women (plus Jagger and sometimes my husband) being connected every year while we follow the instructions on this well-loved piece of paper that is stained, falling apart, and very hard to read.  But, it was hers!  There are just some things that don't need upgrading.

However, with shortening, loads of butter, mounds of sugar, bleached / refined flour, and artificial food dye, I just can't let that go over with my very young toddler.  We'll reevaluate as she gets older (this motherhood thing is a constant moving target), but as for now, she eats only foods that *cause* health.  As for baby Jagger, well, he won't be eating (or missing out) on any of these cookies this year.

So, what's a sensitive-daughter-and-granddaughter slash health-conscious-mama slash Christmas-tradition-lover to do?  Come up with a new recipe that's just as fun to make, tastes like a treat, and adds some extra fuel to our day!  It's almost-Winter and absolutely cold & flu season - let's stack the deck….ok?  ;-)

These cookies are easy to make and work well with your favorite cookie cutters.  Feel free to decorate them as you choose.  

What they have: protein & fiber.

What they don't have: refined sugar, gluten, dairy, soy, flour/grains, artificial anything, trans fats.

The dough is chilled and ready to be rolled out and made into festive shapes!

The dough is chilled and ready to be rolled out and made into festive shapes!

Holiday Spiced Sugar Cookies….ready for the oven! &nbsp;

Holiday Spiced Sugar Cookies….ready for the oven!  

HOLIDAY SPICED SUGAR COOKIES

Ingredients:

  • 2.5 cups almond flour
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 large egg
  • 1.5 T coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp pure almond extract
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • coconut flour (for dusting cookie cutters and rolling out)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix all ingredients in a food processor, mixer, or with (clean!) hands.
  3. Flatten dough to about 1/3 - 1/2 inch thickness.  Cover and allow to chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  4. Place dough between wax paper, sprinkle with coconut flour, and roll out with rolling pin. 
  5. Dust again with coconut flour before using cookie cutters.
  6. Collect "scraps" and repeat steps 4 & 5 until all dough is used.
  7. Place cookies on a baking sheet greased with coconut oil.
  8. Decorate as desired or leave cookies plain.
  9. Bake 7-10 minutes (until edges start to turn golden-brown).  Thin cookies will cook faster - keep your eye on them.

They were a big hit and I didn't get any pictures on the finished product.  I'll take that as a good sign instead of an oversight.  ;-)

Please leave me a comment or an email if you make these cookies.  I'd love to hear about your holiday celebrations!

Peace, Joy, and Health,

Tara

Crustless Pumpkin Pie

It's the day before Thanksgiving here in the U.S. and most folks are either traveling to be closer with friends and family or hunkering down to get their meal prep on.  It's also day 3 of my GREAT and GRATEFUL week here at Tara Allen Health.  I'm grateful to have spent previous years helping patients in the hospital on Thanksgiving Day.  There's nothing quite like seeing how important you are in someone's day than when you are caring for them on a holiday while they're missing out on their own traditions back home.  Therefore, as I enjoy a day off with my family tomorrow (well, limited work - I am an entrepreneur!), I am grateful for the nurses, doctors, police officers, firefighters, and ALL service professionals that will be working hard tomorrow to keep this country running as safely and healthfully as possible.  I'm grateful for all experiences that have lead me to where I'm at currently - as a wife and mama to an infant and toddler, and a business owner that gets to CHANGE lives in the best way on a daily basis with a schedule flexible enough to allow me to "mom" when i need to "mom".  GRATEFUL!

Now to share something GREAT in celebration...

A little birdie told me you may be in a pinch for a last-minute Thanksgiving dessert recipe.  This pumpkin pie comes together quickly and is something you can feed your guests, young and old, and feel good about!  It takes about 5 minutes to prep, so throw it in the oven while you relax, chase your kiddos, or figure out how the heck to carve that turkey.  ;-)

Cheers to a peaceful, smiley, laughter-filled Thanksgiving to you all!

In health and gratitude,

Tara

CRUSTLESS PUMPKIN PIE

 

 

Crustless Pumpkin Pie

 

 

Ingredients:

 

15 ounces pumpkin puree (1 can)

1 cup coconut milk (full fat)

3 eggs

¼ cup honey or pure maple syrup (ok to sub with 1 T stevia for an even lower glycemic index)

¼ cup crushed walnuts or pecans

2 T chia seeds

1.5 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ginger

1 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

coconut oil (to grease pan)

 

 

Directions:

 

1.    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2.    Grease baking pan with coconut oil.

3.    Mix all ingredients in blender, except crushed nuts.

4.    Pour mixture into pan and bake for 45 – 50 minutes.

5.    Top with crushed pecans / walnuts and allow to cool.

6.    Serve yourself a slice before it gets eaten all up.  ;-)

Pumpkin Protein Cookies

Have you ever just thought to yourself, 'Gee, I really need a cookie that's':

  • Gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, and nut-free
  • High in protein
  • Has a low glycemic index
  • Lots of healthy fats / omega 3s
  • Is quick, easy, and has just a few ingredients
  • Is a serving of fruit AND veggies
  • Smells as delicious as it tastes
  • Can be prepared ahead of time for the whole week / whole family
  • Is tasty enough for dessert, but healthy enough for breakfast or lunch boxes

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Yes?!?!  Well, today is your lucky day then!  Ok, I'm a bit of a nerd (you knew that, right?).  :-)  But, if this even piques your interest a little bit, check out my new recipe:

 

Pumpkin Protein Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 large, ripe banana (mashed)
  • 2/3 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup flaxseeds, ground
  • 1 scoop protein powder (I suggest pure hemp or pea protein)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Optional mix-ins: 1/4 cup crushed walnuts, raisins, pumpkin seeds, or any combination.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix all ingredients together (add optional mix-ins last).
  3. Scoop cookie-sized amount of batter spaced-out onto greased baking sheet.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F for 12 - 14 minutes - until edges are golden brown.
  5. Allow to cool and remove with a spatula.
  6. Gobble them up!
The cookies are cooling off and making the kitchen smell like Autumn! &nbsp;

The cookies are cooling off and making the kitchen smell like Autumn!  

Would you like to learn about nutrition once and for all?  How to: lose weight, lose fat, clear the brain fog, increase energy and productivity, decrease fatigue, clear those pesky skin conditions, and just feel AMAZING in your body once and for all?  Check out my nutrition email course!  We go over all of this and more in a very compact (read: easy and not time-consuming) way.  Here's how it works… for 4 weeks, you will receive a weekly email from me with everything in one spot.  This includes:

  • The lesson for the week
  • Goals and action steps for the week
  • Recipes that relate to that week's content
  • Bonus resources that can be printed out to help further (meal prep guides, ingredients to avoid at the food store, etc.)

And…. you get email support from me throughout the 4 weeks together as well!  Need me to help you understand one of the lessons better?  I will do that!  Want me to make suggestions on tweaking a recipe to your needs/tastes?  Just ask!

P.S. No official homework!  Nothing to turn in - it's not that kinda class.  This is to educate you on the biggest asset you have for yourself, your family, and your livelihood - HEALTH!  You will get through the reading in just 20 minutes a week that can be done whenever it's convenient for you.  The recipes are yours to keep and play with whenever you are ready.  The information is priceless and will transform your life.  I know that's a bold statement, but it's the truth.  ;-)  Once you feel energetic and fabulous, think about how that changes your day-to-day!

Read what some former students said about the course...

Tara is a miracle worker! I’m not even done with the course yet and I find myself sleeping better and making healthier choices.
— A.N.
My migraines are gone. I didn’t take the course thinking that would be an area I see an improvement in. I will never go back to my old ways now.
— L.R.
I have a long ways to go, but I lost 7 pounds just by following Tara’s special formula for balancing meals and snacks. I’m never hungry with all this healthy food. It’s the first time in my life I am losing weight and not feeling deprived. No products or gimmicks.
— O.B.

These testimonials make what I do feel so, SO amazing!  Thanks for sharing, guys!

Are you ready for a transformation (or at least a leg-up on this whole nutrition/health thing)?  The investment is $47.  Check out this program and my one-on-one coaching programs under "Online Booking".

Have a wonderful day!

In health,

Tara