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Raw chocolate coconut energy bars

By Ann C Wooledge
on July 18, 2013

Raw Chocolate Coconut Seed and Nut Energy Bars


Warren and I have been on a sugar-free, gluten-free, and as raw as possible quest since November 2011 when Candida became a huge problem in our household. We've learned a lot and have come up with some pretty neat recipes and I think this goes into our file of keepers. I've been trying to make decent energy bars since 2011 and haven't been very successful. I couldn't think of a way to keep everything together without baking or using the ubiquitous agave nectar. 

Problem solved! I've recently discovered a very cool product called "Coconut Manna". It is available (from what I can tell) only from Nutiva and the first time I tried a spoonful I was hooked. They seem to run out of it quickly once they get it back in stock - so I'm not the only one who thinks it's a great product. I bought two jars this time!! I won't go into details about what this product is, but it is NOT considered raw and on their website they tell you why. So this recipe is not totally raw - just wanted to let you know that if you are really strict about being 100% raw. Check out their website for the details about this coconut manna. These are so easy and take only a minimal amount of time to make.


1/4 cup raw organic sunflower seeds
1/4 cup raw organic hemp seeds (also available from Nutiva)
1/4 cup raw organic pecans
1/4 cup raw organic walnuts
3/4 cup coconut manna (Nutiva)
1 tbsp cocoa - or raw cacao nibs
1 tsp vanilla extract
sweetener of choice and to taste - I used 2 packets of Nu-Stevia

Measure out all of your nuts and seeds. Preferably they should be soaked for at least 2 hours or longer. I always forget to soak mine but am trying to do better. Now measuring out the coconut manna can be an issue depending on time of year and temperature in your house. It is a hard solid and requires some effort in the winter time here in Nebraska, but this summer it is a gooey liquid that can be scooped up. It tends to separate like natural peanut butter and you have to mix it together - not really a big deal, but just to let you know. Warm it only enough to melt it so it can be stirred - not over 110 degrees preferably.  Add the cocoa to the manna along with the vanilla and then blend this with the nut/seed mixture. Spread evenly in a non-stick pan. I still spray the pan with coconut oil. Place in freezer. Once firm they can be kept in the refrigerator.

Now these bars will melt outside in warm weather and if you can think of a way to keep this from happening, I would love to hear from you. I like to just break off a little piece if I'm feeling hungry but not ready to eat a meal. The nutritional analysis of this recipe is impressive and with no sugar, no gluten, vegan and mostly raw. This is also a very good recipe for anyone suffering (and they DO suffer) from a Candida or yeast issue.

Let me know if you try it!

Thanks for listening!



Gluten-free, Sugar-free Raspberry Muffins

By Healthy Planet Blog Nutrition and Natural Health
on November 29, 2012



We’ve been experimenting with quite a few sugar free, gluten-free, yeast-free breads and desserts. We have had some victories and a few disappointments, but I wanted to share them with you. This is an adaptation to our Blueberry Muffin recipe posted last week – see here. For anyone with yeast overgrowth or even just some yeast issues, these will help starve that yeast and get it eliminated from your body. Often times we don’t even realize we have yeast and the possibility that they might have taken control of our intestinal flora. Do you have lots of bloating after eating? Probably yeast. Can’t lose weight even though you’re starving yourself? Probably yeast. We have to starve it by eliminating ALL sugar and yeast from our diets. Other things need to be eliminated too, but these are the main culprits. To say it's difficult to find a sugar-free, gluten-free, and YEAST-free bread is an understatement. Let me know if you do. We've experimented with a few recipes and found some we really liked. I will be posting those recipes very soon.

Now, just a short note about these recipes. They are adapted from a book called "The Joy of Gluten-free, Sugar-free Baking" and I highly recommend the book. However, I suddenly realized with my last two recipe attempts, the authors are WEIGHING their dry ingredients. For instance, one recipe says 1 cup (4 oz/113 grams)! Well, I've been baking since I was a kid and one cup to me is 8 ounces in a dry measuring cup - so totally NOT 4 oz! So I decided to actually weigh the flour this time at 85 grams and I think they turned out better than the last batch. Which, really if you think about it, each "flour" has a different weight - it's a bit different than using all purpose flour which stays the same. The almond flour I purchased and is available in most grocery stores, but for the pecan flour, I simply ground up raw organic pecans in the spice grinder. And seriously? If you don't have yeast issues or aren't worried about the glycemic load, you could use sugar in these recipes. Hmmm - and did you notice? There are NO oils or fats added? The fats are naturally derived from the nuts - and they are the healthy fats!


¾ cups (3 oz/85 grams) pecan flour
¾ cup (3 oz/85 grams almond flour
½ cup Stevia in the Raw Extract (we were able to find this at Russ's! One of our least health-oriented grocery stores.)
1/3 cup hemp seeds
1/3 cup organic dried coconut
1 tablespoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
2 eggs (approximately 3.5 oz/99 grams)
½ cup (4 oz/113 grams) unsweetened coconut milk
1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 packet NuStevia
½ to 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries (I put them in still frozen)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line 9 to 10 muffin cups with paper liners. I like to spray them with olive oil spray (optional). Mix the pecan flour, almond flour, Stevia in the Raw, hemp seeds, coconut, baking powder and salt until well blended. In a separate bowl whisk the eggs, milk, vanilla, lemon juice, and NuStevia until well blended.  Add the egg mixture to the bowl with the flour mixture and stir with a large spoon for 1 to 2 minutes. I’ve found that this is an important step to get the correct consistency of the batter. I even set my timer for 2 minutes after I pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture but I’m a little OCD-ish. Fold the raspberries into the batter – gently of course. Again, no need to thaw them out first - easy and fast.

Spoon the batter into the muffin cups and the cups should be just about full. They don’t rise much if at all.  Place the muffin pan on a cookie sheet and place in the preheated oven. Bake for 20 minutes, then rotate the pan and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes. Test them with a toothpick and if it comes out clean, they’re ready. I like to then set them out on a wire rack for cooling. Well, truthfully, I like to pull a really hot one out and slather it with butter and eat it right then - my reward.

We liked these a lot and Warren took a few to work with him today.  I will do a nutritional analysis, but just knowing that I’m using nut “flour” (and we use organic raw nuts), NO sugar, and coconut milk – the amount of fiber and protein has to be high. The raspberries of course were not sweetened – so more goodness for you.

Let me know if you try these and how they turned out. If you have any questions, let me know!

Thanks for listening!

Ann McIntire Wooledge, RN, CCAP

Blueberry-Hazelnut Muffins - Gluten-free, Sugar-Free

By Healthy Planet Blog Nutrition and Natural Health
on October 22, 2012
1 comment

Blueberry-Hazelnut Muffins - Gluten-free, Sugar-Free


One of the biggest issues for us this past year has been following a totally gluten-free, sugar-free, yeast-free, soy-free eating plan. This was needed due to a very serious yeast overgrowth issue in our family. It's been a life-changing difficult path, but we've learned a lot and we are thankful we've learned to eat a more healthy diet. I was very excited when I found the cookbook from which this recipe was taken (see below). Finding ANY bread, cake or muffin that has no yeast, no sugar or no gluten is impossible. Or I thought it was until I found this cookbook.

¾ cup hazelnut flour
¾ cup almond flour
½ cup Stevia Extract in the Raw or ¼ cup New Roots Stevia Sugar
1/3 cup almonds or hazelnuts, chopped
1 TBSP baking powder
¼ tsp salt
2 eggs
½ cup unsweetened soy milk (or other milk)
1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
½ tsp liquid stevia
½ to 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 9 muffin cups with paper or foil liners, then lightly mist them with spray oil (or omit the liners and generously mist the muffin cups with spray oil).

In a medium bowl, combine the hazelnut flour, almond flour, stevia extract, almonds, baking powder, and salt. Whisk until well mixed. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, vanilla, lemon juice and liquid stevia together until thoroughly blended. Add the flour mixture and stir with a large spoon for 1 to 2 minutes to make a smooth, sticky batter (see page 27). Gently fold in the blueberries.

Spoon or scoop the batter into the prepared muffin cups, dividing it evenly among them; the muffin cups should be just about full.

Bake for 20 minutes, then rotate and bake for 20 more minutes, until golden brown and firm and springy when pressed in the center.

Let the muffins cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes before turning them out onto a wire rack.

Taken from “The Joy of Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free Baking”, by Peter Reinhart & Denene Wallace

Let me know if you try these!

Thanks for listening!


Healthy Homemade Chai-Spiced Tea

By Healthy Planet Blog Nutrition and Natural Health
on March 11, 2012

Healthy Homemade Chai-Spiced Tea:


I've tried so many different chai tea recipes using the regular powdered spices or buying a mix of some sort - nothing tastes like I think it should. That is until I found this recipe where it's made from scratch. Luckily I already had all of these spices as a whole spice because I wanted to try more Indian dishes and have found that spices are so much better when crushed by hand just before adding them to a dish. It's really not difficult - of course a little more time-consuming than just putting a mix in a cup and microwaving it. I made enough so that I can drink 2 cups for 2 days. So, in the long run, it is less time actually. I like it warm, almost hot. It's also very good for you. You can use black tea, green tea, or rooibos (good recommendation) tea - whichever you have or like best. Any "milk" product would work as well. I used non GMO soy milk because I needed a little more protein that day, but any of the nut milks would work great. This is also a great coffee substitute if you're trying to cut down on caffeine.

Chai Spiced Tea:

1 cinnamon stick
8 whole green cardamom pods
8 whole cloves
1 teaspoon dried ginger root (not powder) OR 1-inch piece fresh ginger root, peeled and thinly slice
4 whole black peppercorns
1 tsp vanilla extract or 1 inch of a vanilla bean
2 1/2 cups filtered water
2 single-serve black tea bags or 1 Tbsp of whichever loose tea you prefer
2 Tablespoons unrefined sugar (I really like the turbinado, but usually use stevia)
1 1/2 cups milk (non-GMO soy or nut milk)

Place cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, ginger, peppercorns, vanilla bean or extract in a 1.5 to 2-quart saucepan. 

Add filtered water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes.

Remove from heat, set aside, and let steep for 10 minutes.

Return pot to the heat and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, add tea, cover and set aside to let steep for 3 to 5 minutes.

Strain mixture through a fine mesh sieve, discarding solids. 

Return liquid to the pot and stir in sugar (or stevia*) and milk.

Heat over low heat for 2 to 3 minutes or until warmed to your liking. Pour into cups and serve. (Also good over ice.) I left the spices in the glass that I stored the tea in (refrigerated it) until I wanted my next cup. By leaving the spice mixture in the leftovers, it made it taste (I do like it sort of strong) even better each time I reheated it.

Serves 2-large mugs or 4-small mugs.

Adapted from one of favorite resources - this is a great website.

Let me know if you try it, or if you have your own recipe that you like.

Thanks for listening!

Gluten-Free Cornbread Squares

By Recipes for a Healthier You Easy Homemade Breads
on February 20, 2012

Cornbread Square Muffins - Gluten-free (easily Vegan)
cornbread square muffins gluten free

This is a recipe that I've tweaked a few times, but I think I've finally GOT IT. We've been sugar-free, gluten-free in our household since November (2011) due to yeast overgrowth issues that resulted in some really bad side effects for Warren. He's lost 45 pounds since then (this is now February 2012 as I write this) and although he needed to lose some weight, this wasn't quite how he nor I had expected it to happen. Regardless, this is one of the recipes that came from my search for FOOD - real food that tasted good and filled us up. This last batch came out light and moist, as good as any, and I think probably better than any cornbread I've made before now - and I learned most of my cooking skills while living in the south where cornbread is an art.

Preheat over to 400 degrees.

3/4 cups organic brown rice flour (the original recipe called for 1-1/4 cup of all purpose flour)
3/4 cups organic coconut flour
3/4 cup yellow corn meal (not all corn meal is gluten free, so check the package if that's important for you)
1 pack of NuStevia (the original recipe called for 1/8 cup of sugar - I've never liked really sweet cornbread, but this was good)
2.5 tsp double acting baking powder (I used Clabber Girl) - probably would use an aluminum free one next time
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup plain non-fat yogurt (the original recipe called for 1/2 cup mayonnaise and to make it vegan you can use vegenaise)
1 cup nut or soy milk - I used almond milk
1 egg (when I made it vegan we substituted egg replacer)
1/4 cup olive oil

Add dry ingredients, make a well in the middle and mix the milk, egg and yogurt together and then blend with dry ingredients. Don't overdo the mixing - just until incorporated and lumps are gone. Place in square muffin pan and bake for 18 to 20 minutes until slightly brown around the edges.

The picture below is of the Wilton square muffin pan that Warren found at a garage sale for $4.00 - he found 2 of them. They are very  heavy and cook these squares perfectly. You can, of course, cook this recipe in any muffin pan or even square pan, but the muffin squares make serving the cornbread so much easier - no flaking or falling part when you try to cut the cornbread.

 wilton square muffin pan

Note: The last attempt at this recipe I substituted the all purpose flour with a gluten-free flour mix that we found at the grocery store, used Vegenaise and egg replacer. I will say that although good, they were heavy and doughy and not nearly as tasty and light as this batch.

Let me know if you try this, if you make any substitutions and how it worked for you.

Thanks for listening!


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