What’s Bugging You?

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So as a person that primarily eats a whole-food plant-based diet, I’ve recently began grappling with the idea of eating… wait for it… bugs! Now before you get grossed out, know that 2 Billion people on the planet eat bugs. For some, it’s even a delicacy.  Apparently of the more than 1,900 species that are consumed, beetles, caterpillars, wasps and ants top the list. YUmmmmm…?

While it’s not so much the ick factor that had me hesitating, it goes back to that whole plant-based thing  and avoiding all animal proteins. Now while I stick to a plant-based diet for health reasons, the humane treatment of animals is also a concern of mine, as well as, environmental factors and here’s some of what I gathered so far. [there’s some interesting research on bugs if you feel the need to search!]. Here is the first of three factors that went into my decision to willingly (and surprisingly enjoy) eating bugs, or entomophagy.

FullSizeRender (64)Factor #1 : Our Environment

By the year 2050 our population is expected to hit 9 Billion which means our food supply will have to almost double… not sure how that would happen considering available land and water is scarce, our oceans are overfished and the meat production industry already produces more greenhouse gas emissions than either transportation or industry. How does that relate to bugs?

Glad you asked! Those creepy little critters are rockstars in our environment. They pollinate our plants, create more fertile soils, and while some see them as pests, bugs actually help to control the pest population. Not only that, but they provide us with products many people use all the time including honey, silk and medicinal therapies to name just a few.

Now these bugs can do us one better by satisfying the middle-classes’ growing demand for protein. Not only is harvesting bugs like grasshoppers and crickets more efficient than livestock thanks to a lesser need for land and  water, they also produces less gas emissions and ammonia, as well. Compared to meat, they also pose less risk of contamination (think salmonella and e. coli)! And speaking of health….


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This was a batch of “Thin Mint Cookies” I whipped up this week! Move over Girl Scouts, these are one healthy cookie… complete with cricket protein!

I’ll follow up with the health benefits of these creepy, crawlies, in the next week!

Cacao Brownies ala Alton Brown

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What do Alton Brown and Tigernuts have in common? Absolutely nothing! But I bought a new flour I wanted to try, there was an avocado getting ready to turn and I had the strong desire to make a healthy version of Alton’s Cocoa Brownies.

FullSizeRender (58)So, what the heck are tigernuts? Tigernuts aren’t actually nuts at all! They are fibrous little root vegetables (tubers) that are gluten free, grain free, vegan, paleo and all around über healthy for you. A great prebiotic fiber, Tigernuts act as fuel for your probiotic bacteria (that’s a good thing)…FullSizeRender (52)

I wanted to try this new flour in my favorite dessert, brownies! Of course, Alton’s brownie recipes is loaded with sugar, butter and all the unhealthy ingredients I’m not such a fan of, so my inspiration came from all of the cacao his recipe calls for. So here is my healthy twist on Cacao Brownies (ala Alton Brown).

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  • 1 avocado
  • 1 very ripe plantain
  • 1Tb vanilla extract
  • 1/4c applesauce
  • 1/4c maple syrup
  • 1/4c arrowroot starch (or non-GMO corn starch)
  • 2t baking powder
  • 1t baking soda
  • 1/4c Tigernut flour (let me know if you try any other flours! most should work)
  • 3/4c cacao powder
  • 1/2c carob powder (or more cacao powder)


Preheat your oven to 300°F and line an 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper. Using a blender, puree your plantain and liquid ingredients. In a separate mixing bowl, “cream” your avocado. I used my Kitchenaid mixer, but you’re strong, and you can totally do this all by hand, too.

Now add your puree to the avocado and give it a good mix. Stir in your arrowroot starch, baking powder and baking soda and get that all combined. Then 1/4 cup at a time, begin to add in your tigernut flour followed by the cacao powder).

Once the batter is all mixed, pour it into your prepared baking pan and place in the oven for 45min.

FullSizeRender (55)I know this will be a test of your patience, but after you remove the brownies from the oven, let them cool before slicing in. Fun side note, I stored these uncovered in the fridge overnight and they were even more delicious the next day!

FullSizeRender (48)Delicious just got healthy!

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Grab-N-Go Brownie Bites


Don’t be fooled, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Your body has just been fasting (ideally for 10-12 hours) and now it’s time to BREAK the FAST. Eating breakfast can do several things for your health including protect against heart disease, diabetes, and weight gain. So eat breakfast for the sake of your heart, your health and your waist.

If you’re in a hurry (like most of us) here’s a super quick bite of deliciousness that will give you plenty of protein and energy to power you through the day; plus these taste like brownies!

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Brownies Bites


  • 1/3c walnuts
  • 1/3c almonds
  • 1/3c pecans
  • 1/4c raw cacao powder
  • 1c pitted medjool dates
  • 1T vanilla extract *optional


Using a food processor, begin to grind the nuts down till you have a a gritty flour (I like these to have a little texture, so I don’t grind them too finely). Add the cacao powder and give it a quick whirl.

Now begin adding your dates slowly, along with the table spoon of vanilla extract. Your batter inside should eventually begin to “ball up”. By that, I mean the very thick batter will all stick together and you’ll have a big ball rolling around.

At this point, stop the processor. Using your hands, break of golf ball sized chunks of dough and roll it between your hands to make a ball. If you want to kick these up a notch (though they’re pretty darn delicious plain) roll them in cacao powder, coconut flakes, cacao nibs or even more crushed nuts.

Store these in the freezer or refrigerator for that next time you need a quick grab-n-go option or just a sweet treat.

Pumpkin Pie Cookies

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I was beyond thrilled when these Pumpkin Pie Cookies came out as awesome as they did. Not overly sweet, but soft and moist with the perfect taste of Fall coming at you from the  warm cinnamon spices. I love desserts, but man, oh man, I really value eating things that are healthy and nourishing for the body which most sweets are not. [If it’s not helping you, it’s hurting you, right?] And with Fall finally here and trick-or-treating soon commencing (bring on the sugar rush!), I need something sweet but healthy to nibble on this time of year.

IMG_7804These Pumpkin-licious cookies are all kinds of wonderful with zero guilt and the perfect go-to snack this Fall.

Pumpkin Pie Cookies


  • 1 very ripe plantain
  • 1/2c pumpkin puree (high-five if you pureed the sucker yourself!)
  • 1/4c coconut flour
  • 2 T almond flour
  • 2T arrowroot starch (you can sub corn starch if it’s all you’ve got)
  • 1t baking powder
  • 1/2t baking soda
  • 1t lemon juice
  • 3T coconut oil
  • pinch of salt
  • 1T pumpkin pie spice
  • *pure stevia to sweeten – Trader Joe’s carries awesome stuff!
  • *optional; 1t molasses
  • *optional; 2T maple syrup


Preheat your oven to 350°F and lightly grease a cookie tray (or line with parchment). In a blender, process together your ultra ripe plantain, pumpkin and other liquid ingredients until you have a super smooth, but fairly thick mixture. [I did not add any of the additional maple syrup or molasses but if you need cloyingly sweet, go for it! #yolo].

FullSizeRender (43)In a separate bowl, sift together all of your dry ingredients. Now pour the contents of the blender into the dry ingredients and mix very well.

FullSizeRender (45)I used a spoon and just put ping-pong ball sized globs of dough on my silpat sheet. These Pumpkin Pie Cookies won’t rise or spread to much, so no worries if you have to crowd the pan a bit.

Bake for 12-16 minutes before removing from oven. Let the cookies cool on the counter before digging in, as they will continue to set a bit more while they cool.

FullSizeRender (46)And there you have it! Pumpkin Pie Cookies, made without gluten, grains, animal products or refined sugars… dang, I out did myself!

P.S. – Have you ever seen a cuter Buzz Lightyear???? My nephew is so stinking adorable!


ButterFingers, just more Awesome!

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Not sure what to do with those left over chippies? You know what I mean, the crushed tortilla chips at the bottom of the bag. I know my hubby doesn’t like a chip unless he can use it to scoop mounds of guacamole and salsa… poor, sad, unloved chips… don’t despair, here’s an awesome way to repurpose them! Did I mention there’s chocolate involved? mmmmhhh…. chocolate….

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I used a little innovation to create BUTTERFINGERS! I turned those chip bits to peanut buttery chocolate goodness! And, even better, I didn’t have to waste any food. Food waste is a HUGE problem in the U.S. ! Did you know 40% of food in America goes to waste? Food that could otherwise lift 430 million Americans out of hunger? Yup, sad right? So save your family $600 a year and try not to waste food… *steps off soapbox*… Back to the recipe!…

Here you have it, Homemade Butterfingers!!!!

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  • 1 1/4c Tortilla chip remains; crushed!
  • 5T maple syrup
  • 2t molasses
  • 2T nutritional yeast
  • 1c real peanut butter
  • 1/3c chocolate chips
  • 1t coconut oil (optional)


Start by really crushing those left over chips, the smaller the pieces, the better!

FullSizeRender (40)On the stove top at low to medium heat, melt together your peanut butter, molasses, maple syrup and nutritional yeast.

IMG_7411 FullSizeRender (41)When all that sweet peanut butter goodness is mixed together, toss in the chips and stir it all together until all the chips are covered in sweet deliciousness.

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Press your mess into a greased or parchment lined pan. Be warned, your fingers might get a bit messy while you press it down! I made my butterfingers a little thicker and used only half of a 9×9 pan.

Then, in a microwave safe bowl, begin to melt your chocolate chips and coconut oil. [I use the coconut oil only because it makes the chocolate look a little nicer in the end]. You can also use a double boiler to melt the chocolate or, like I did, microwave in 15-20 second intervals and stir in-between. Then I just spread the chocolate on!

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Toss this in the freezer for an hour or so to harden. When finished, pull the pan out, let thaw a minute or two and begin slicing.

FullSizeRender (35)I keep these treats in the fridge for my daily snack attacks! Hope you enjoy yours, too!

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And, be sure to check out Welli Desserts!

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Mini Sweet Potato Cupcakes

Sweet Potato Cupcakes

It’s beginning to look a lot like Fall… well, it’s still 90° out in Florida, but you know what I mean. Pumpkin Spice coming out of every aisle in the grocery store, and while I absolutely love pumpkin, I think sweet potatoes need a little love this Fall.  So to show some love to the simple, mild mannered sweet potato, I’ve made a batch of (mini) Sweet Potato Cupcakes!

And if you don’t like cupcakes, call it a morning mini muffin and enjoy without frosting.

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  • 1 very ripe plantain
  • 1 medium roasted sweet potato
  • 3/4c brown rice flour
  • 1/4c coconut flour
  • 2T arrowroot starch
  • 1t each baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon
  • 1t lemon juice
  • 1/4c maple syrup
  • 3T coconut oil
  • 2T applesauce
  • pinch of salt
  • stevia to sweeten (optional)


Preheat the oven to 350°F and lightly grease a mini muffin pan. In a blender, puree your plantain, sweet potato and wet ingredients until you have a nice smooth batter. No worries if it looks like it’s starting to gel together (tricky plantains), it’ll still work.

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In a separate mixing bowl, sift together your dry ingredients. Now pour your wet batter into your dry ingredients and combine well.

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Pour your lovely batter creation into the greased mini muffin pan and bake 16-18 minutes.

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When the timer goes off, go ahead and pull the little beauties from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes or so on the counter.

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You can eat these as a healthy muffin or add a  fun frosting, and viola! Instant cupcakes!… with a fun and healthy twist of course. Delicious just got healthy!

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Quick Guacamole on a Budget!


Avocados are delicious! And I use them in everything from brownies and frosting to sushi rolls, spring rolls and of course, GUACAMOLE! Such a beautiful fruit, that’s right, they’re a fruit and an über healthy one at that!


Not to mention, these “alligator pears” are pretty fascinating. Here’s a link for some other awesome facts about avocados. Did you know you can use the pit as a natural dye!? Or that they were once reserved for royalty? Feeling kind of like a princess right now…


And then reality hits me and I see in the supermarket that avocados are $2 each. Oh my lanta that can add up! Now maybe you don’t have to be royalty to afford that, but when you’re entertaining or feeding a big family those dollar bills add up. So here’s a recipe to stretch your next batch of guacamole goodness.


Guacamole Fit for Royalty


  • 1 avocado
  • 1 can of of sweet peas (or 1 1/2c fresh if you can find them)
  • 1T lime juice
  • 2T cumin
  • 1T garlic powder (or 2 cloves)
  • and salt to taste!



If you have a food processor, throw it all in and blend! If you don’t have a food processor, no worries, you just mash it like you mean it till it’s creamy and smooth.


Now, not only do you have a deliciously healthy bowl of guacamole, but you have plenty to go around at the table. You won’t even taste the peas (I swear) but you’ll benefit from all the goodness for a fraction of the price of an avocado.


And if you have trouble selecting the perfect avocado, use this handy diagram below and guac on!

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