Have you been stressed out? Do you feel like you haven’t had a chance to relax and enjoy time with your friends, family, or simply with yourself?
Well, there's no better time than now — during the holidays when things get slower — to be mellow and treat your mind, body and soul with the love it deserves.
Holidays should be a time to reflect on this year and cherish all of the beautiful moments we've had, right? (We totally agree!) In fact, we've asked one of our team members, Maria, to share with you some of her favorite wintery, warming dishes to help us all be a little more nourished and calm.
So sit back and check out some of these amazing recipes to help you truly soak up the holiday season. 🙂
Raw Hot Chocolate (Serves Two)
- 6 pitted medjool dates
- 3-4 cups nut milk
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne powder (careful with this…)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2-3 tablespoons cacao powder
- 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil (optional)
NOTE: The cinnamon, cayenne and vanilla are optional but I really recommended them.
Warm the nut milk (hemp or almond) on the stove then add it and all the other ingredients to a high speed blender and blend until smooth.
Pour into mugs, cuddle up with a loved one and enjoy!
You could add some peppermint or candy canes to this too.
Autumn Arugula Salad with Caramelized Squash, Spiced Pecans and Pomegranate Ginger Vinaigrette (Serves 2-4)
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 acorn squash, sliced in 1/2-inch thick rounds and seeds removed
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepped
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 1/2 cup whole pecans, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 6 cups baby arugula
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 1 pomegranate, arils removed
- 1 seedless cucumber, sliced
Pomegranate Ginger Vinaigrette
- 1/3 cup pomegranate juice
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- 1 garlic clove, freshly grated
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/3 cup olive oil
Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add coconut oil. Cover the squash slices with salt and pepper, then add them to the skillet and cook until golden, about 5 minutes per side. If desired, you can add the brown sugar to help the squash caramelize. Heat a small saucepan over low heat and add the pecans. Toast until they are slightly golden and fragrant, stirring and shaking the pan as they toast, for about 5 minutes. Toss them with the pumpkin pie spice.
Add the arugula to a large bowl with a pinch of salt and pepper. Add in the avocado, pomegranate seeds, cucumber, pecans and squash pieces. Cover in the dressing.
Pomegranate Ginger Vinaigrette
Combine pome juice, vinegar, ginger, garlic, salt and pepper in a large bowl and whisk together. Stream in the olive oil while constantly whisking until the dressing comes together. Store in the fridge for up to one week.
Acorn Squash with Quinoa & Cherries (Serves 2-4)
Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Time-to-table: 1 hour
- 2 acorn squash, washed
- Olive oil
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed well
- 1/4 cup dried tart cherries or dried cranberries, preferably halved
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans, preferably toasted
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 400F. Cut squash in half lengthwise; remove and discard seeds and membrane. Rub skin and cut edge with oil.
Place squash face-down on a baking dish (preferably one with sides as high as the squash halves) and bake for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring the water and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the quinoa, return to a boil and cook for 15 – 20 minutes or until liquid cooks away. Stir in the fruit, nuts, maple syrup, butter and cinnamon.
Mound the quinoa mixture in the squash halves. Cover with foil and bake for another 15 minutes.
And finally, dessert… 🙂
Raw Hazelnut and Mint Chocolate Truffles
- 1 Cup Cashews, soaked at least 3 hours
- 1/3 Cup Agave (or liquid sweetener of your choice)
- 1 Cup dried coconut (non sweetened)
Place drained cashews and agave in food processor. Process until smooth. Add dried coconut and mix until well combined. A ball should form. Remove half the mixture and set aside. You will be making two different fillings.
- 1/2 C Hazelnuts, soaked for at least 3 hours
Add hazelnuts to the mixture that is still in the food processor. Process until nuts are chopped fine and mixture is well combined. Refrigerate for 1/2 hour.
- 1/2 t Peppermint extract
Add peppermint extract to remaining mixture and mix well. Refrigerate for 1/2 hour.
Assemble the Truffles:
Roll filling into 1′ balls. Place in freezer for 1 hour. While filling is setting up, make the raw chocolate.
- 1 Cup Raw Cacao Butter
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla
- 3 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
- 1/3 Cup Powdered Sucanat (finely ground in coffee grinder)
- 2 Tablespoon Agave (or liquid sweetener of your choice)
- 7 oz. Cacao Powder
Melt cacao butter and coconut oil in dehydrator or over hot water. In food processor, combine melted cacao butter, coconut oil, agave and vanilla. Remove 1/2 mixture and set aside. Add 1/2 cacao powder and combine. Add sucanant and combine. Add cacao butter that was set aside and combine. Add remaining cacao powder, mix well. It should be quite liquid at this point. It will harden as it cools.
- Take a filling ball and place a toothpick in it.
- Dip it in the melted raw chocolate.
- Holding the chocolate dipped ball over the chocolate, let the extra chocolate run off. Be patient and wait until it has all dripped off. You can slowly turn the ball while it is dripping to get better coverage.
- Holding the chocolate covered ball upright, slide just the tip of a fork off under the ball, very carefully slide the ball onto a non-stick sheet. Repeat until all filling balls are covered. Place back in refrigerator to set chocolate.
Your question of the day: Do you have a yummy, holiday recipe that you want to share?
Annmarie Gianni is a mother, health activist, entrepreneur, and founder of 3 successful businesses. Over ten years ago, she and her husband, Kevin, formed a team and Annmarie Skin Care was founded to provide a clean, natural skin care experience using natural, organic and wildcrafted ingredients. After a few years of focusing on creating a successful skin care business, Annmarie was able to step away and focus on raising her kids. Today, you’d find Annmarie volunteering her time at her kid’s school, helping out at community events, going on trail runs, and spending quality time with her family.
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