Tuscan Pasta Salad with Essential Oils

If you’re looking for a fun new spring dish, this is the one for you! This pasta salad is super simple but delicious and filling. It makes a lot, so you can eat it as the main dish, take it as a side salad to parties, or save the leftovers for lunch the next day. And the best part? It uses essential oils! Now you can enjoy the flavor of basil and oregano in this tasty salad while enjoying the health benefits of essential oils at the same time.

Tuscan Pasta Salad

  • Servings: 8–10
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Salad:

  • Two 19 oz. packages cheese tortellini pasta
  • 1/2 cup (65 g) sliced olives
  • 1/2 cup (80 g) artichoke pieces
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) mini pepperoni or salami
  • 1/2 cup (90 g) chopped red peppers (roasted or fresh)
  • 1/2 cup (25 g) diced tomatoes (sundried or fresh)
  • 1 cup (20 g) arugula or spinach

Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp. (50 ml) balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. (3 g) minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. (3 g) salt
  • 1/4 tsp. (500 mg) black pepper
  • 2 drops lemon essential oil
  • 1 toothpick basil essential oil
  • 1 toothpick oregano essential oil

Instructions:

  1. Following the instructions on the packaging, cook the pasta, drain, and set aside to cool.
  2. While the pasta is cooling, combine all the dressing ingredients in a shaker bottle or glass jar, and shake well to combine.
  3. In a large bowl, combine all the salad ingredients, pour the dressing on, and toss to combine.
  4. Sprinkle with salt and pepper (to taste), and serve!

Essential Oil Spotlight: Marjoram

Marjoram (Origanum majorana) essential oil is steam-distilled from the leaves of the plant. This oil has antibacterial, anti-infectious, antiseptic, antisexual, antispasmodic, arterial vasodilating, digestive stimulating, diuretic, expectorant, sedative, and tonic health properties. Marjoram is known for its herbaceous and spicy aroma.

Historically, marjoram was used to combat poisoning, fluid retention, muscle spasms, stiff joints, bruises, and respiratory congestion. Today, some of the primary uses of marjoram essential oil include arthritis, bone spurs, carpal tunnel syndrome, colic, constipation, croup, expectorant, neuralgia, muscle aches and fatigue, pancreatitis, Parkinson’s disease, physical stress, sprains, stiffness, and tendinitis.

Marjoram essential oil can also help anxiety, boils, bruises, burns, celibacy, colds, cuts, fungal and viral infections, hysteria, menstrual problems, ringworm, shingles, shock, sores, and sunburns.

Application of Marjoram Essential Oil and Safety Data:

Topical Application: Can be applied neat (without dilution). Apply directly to the area of concern and to reflex points.
Aromatic Application: Diffuse, or inhale the aroma directly. The aroma of marjoram essential oil promotes peace and sleep.
Internal Application: Marjoram is generally recognized as safe by the FDA for human consumption and can be used as a flavoring agent.
Safety Data: Not to be used internally by children under 6 years old, and should be used with caution and in greater dilution for children 6 years old and older. Should be used with caution during pregnancy.

Ways to Use Marjoram Essential Oil:

1. Tendinitis
Tendinitis can be extremely painful. Try applying a drop of marjoram on location, then cover with a cool pack for 15 minutes. Repeat whenever necessary.

2. Diffusion
Diffuser blends are a simple way to use your favorite essential oils. Here are a few blends that we created for you to try out so you can enjoy the aroma of marjoram essential oil.

3. Roll-on Blends
Roll-on blends are a great way to maximize the use of multiple essential oils, and they’re so easy to apply. Here are some simple blends to help you start using marjoram essential oil topically. Each of these blends should be combined with 2 tsp. (10 ml) of carrier oil in a 10 ml roll-on bottle, then applied directly to the area of concern.

Muscle Recovery
5 drops marjoram
5 drops white fir
6 drops cypress
6 drops peppermint
Arthritis
3 drops frankincense
4 drops peppermint
2 drops marjoram
Carpal Tunnel
3 drops basil
3 drops marjoram
2 drops lemongrass
2 drops cypress
Nerve Pain Relief
8 drops marjoram
8 drops eucalyptus

4. Cooking
Marjoram is a commonly used herb in many recipes, and you can easily use the essential oil as a replacement. Here are a few recipes we have that include marjoram essential oil for you to try out.

5. Massage Oil
Using marjoram essential oil in a massage oil has many benefits. Marjoram essential oil is great for muscle spasms, can serve as a sedative to your nerves, and promotes relaxation. Combine any of these blends with 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) of your favorite carrier oil to reap the benefits!

Nervous Tension
6 drops marjoram
3 drops rose
2 drops lavender
Muscle Relief
7 drops marjoram
3 drops rosemary
2 drops lemongrass
Emotional Balance
4 drops marjoram
2 drops frankincense
2 drops rose
Aches & Pains
5 drops peppermint
5 drops marjoram
3 drops lavender

Sources:
Modern Essentials™: The Complete Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 9th Edition, pp. 90–91.
Aromatherapy Blends & Remedies by Franzesca Watson

No-Bake Chocolate Fruit Pizza

Finding healthy snacks that everyone will enjoy can be challenging. Here’s a healthy alternative to your traditional cookie-crust fruit pizzas! This fruit pizza is tasty and healthy, and you can top it with your favorite fruit to make your own special masterpiece. Better yet, have the kids decorate it for a fun activity to cure boredom!

No-Bake Chocolate Fruit Pizza

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

Crust

  • 1 cup (140 g) whole almonds
  • 15 medium pitted dates
  • 2 Tbsp. (24 g) coconut oil, melted
  • 1 Tbsp. (8 g) cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. (5 ml) vanilla

Filling

  • 1/2 cup (120 g) cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup (140 g) plain greek yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) sugar or honey
  • 1/4 tsp. (1.5 ml) vanilla
  • 2–3 drops orange, lemon, or lime essential oil

Toppings

  • 1/4 cup (40 g) strawberries
  • 1 clementine or mandarin orange
  • 1/4 cup (40 g) blueberries
  • 1/4 cup (40 g) blackberries

Instructions:

  1. Begin by making the crust by blending the almonds in a food processor until they reach a rough flour-like consistency.
  2. Add in the dates, melted coconut oil, cocoa powder, and vanilla, and blend again in the processor until well combined.
  3. Press the mixture into a circular tin or tart dish, and refrigerate for an hour.
  4. In a separate bowl, whip the cream cheese and greek yogurt until well combined.
  5. Add the honey or sugar, vanilla, and essential oil, and combine thoroughly.
  6. Once the crust has set, move to a plate, and spread on the filling.
  7. Decorate the pizza with the fruit, making your own design!

You can use any fruit you would like, not just the ones listed. Other fruits you can add include grapes, kiwi, apples, raspberries, etc. Find the fruits you like and be creative!

Almond Thumbprint Cookies with Lime Frosting

It’s almost St. Patrick’s Day, and if you’re like us, you’re looking for fun, healthy treats. We all have a sweet tooth sometimes, but we don’t want to eat too much sugar! If you can relate, this recipe is perfect for you. These almond flour cookies don’t use any grain, and the sweetener is just honey—no refined sugar! These cookies are yummy, but not so sweet that they leave you feeling sick. These are cookies you can feel good about feeding your kids! Add the Lime Frosting to the cookies to increase their flavor—and add the health benefits of lime essential oil. You can even dye the frosting green to kick off St. Patrick’s Day!

Almond Thumbprint Cookies

  • Servings: 18
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups (215 g) blanched almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp. (2 g) baking soda
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. (5 ml) vanilla
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) honey
  • 4 Tbsp. (57 g) butter, softened

Instructions:

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the almond flour, baking soda, and salt.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients, and stir until combined completely.
  3. Cover the bowl, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  5. Once the dough is chilled, use a cookie scoop or a tablespoon to form the dough into balls, and place on a cookie sheet.
  6. Using your thumb, make a dent in the center of each cookie, being careful not to poke entirely through.
  7. Bake for 9–11 minutes, or until slightly browned.
  8. Remove the cookies from the oven, and immediately press the dents back down using a teaspoon.
  9. Allow the cookies to completely cool before filling each hole with Lime Frosting (recipe below).

If you don’t want to use the Lime Frosting, you can also fill the holes with some jam for a fun, fruity dessert.

Lime Frosting

  • Servings: Yield=8 oz. (250 ml)
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. (225 g) cream cheese, softened
  • 3 Tbsp. (45 ml) honey
  • 1 tsp. (5 ml) vanilla
  • 1–2 tsp. (5–10 ml) milk
  • 8–10 drops lime essential oil
  • Green food coloring or spinach powder (optional)

Instructions:

  1. In a small bowl, combine cream cheese, honey, and vanilla.
  2. Using a hand mixer, beat the frosting on medium speed.
  3. Slowly add in the milk until the desired consistency is reached.
  4. Add the lime oil and food coloring.

For easier use, place the frosting in a small zip-top bag, and cut the corner off. Squeeze the frosting through the corner of the bag to frost the cookies!

Cilantro Lime Chicken with Avocado Salsa

If you’re looking for a fun new recipe to spice up your dinners, you have to try this yummy cilantro lime chicken! The flavor is rich and savory, and the salsa is delicious. This recipe is simple and can be made up ahead of time, or quickly on the spot!

Cilantro Lime Chicken

  • Servings: 4–6
  • Difficulty: Moderate
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Ingredients:

  • 4–6 chicken breasts
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1/2 cup (30 g) chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) honey
  • 2 tsp. (12 g) salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1/2 tsp. (1 g) onion powder
  • 3 drops lime essential oil
  • 5–10 drops cilantro essential oil
  • 1 drop black pepper essential oil
  • 1 drop cumin essential oil
  • 1 drop coriander essential oil

Instructions:

  1. Combine all ingredients thoroughly, and place in a plastic zip-top bag.
  2. Marinate in the fridge for at least 1 hour or up to overnight.
  3. Remove the chicken from the bag, and drain the remaining marinade.
  4. Cook the chicken over medium heat in a frying pan until cooked thoroughly and lightly browned.
  5. Top with avocado salsa (recipe below), and enjoy!

Cilantro Lime Avocado Salsa

  • Servings: Yield=2–3 cups
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 2 avocadoes, diced
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) onion, finely diced
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1/4 tsp. (1 g) garlic powder
  • 2–3 drops cilantro essential oil, to taste
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl, being careful not to stir so much that the avocadoes get mushed.
  2. Serve with chicken, chips, or flatbread.

Frozen Yogurt Snacks

It’s hard to stay healthy with all the snacking we tend to do. Solution? Healthy snacks! These yummy frozen yogurt snacks are really good for you, and they taste amazing too. Now you can enjoy a sweet treat while keeping up with your health goals!

Frozen Yogurt Bites

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 2 cups (570 g) plain greek yogurt
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp. (40 ml) honey
  • 1 tsp. (5 ml) vanilla
  • 2–3 drops essential oil
  • 1 1/4 cups (190 g) fruit
  • Cupcake liners

Instructions:

  1. Combine yogurt, honey, and vanilla in a bowl.
  2. Add essential oil until you reach your desired flavor.
  3. Cut the fruit if necessary, and stir into the yogurt.
  4. Place the cupcake liners into a cupcake pan, and drop the yogurt into the liners.
  5. Place in the freezer for 2 hours, or until completely frozen.
  6. Once the yogurt treats are frozen, pull out of the freezer and let them thaw for a couple minutes so that they come out of the cupcake pan easily.
  7. Store the yogurt bites in the freezer, and enjoy whenever you get that desire to snack!

You can create your own flavors; some of the flavors that we liked were raspberry-lime, blueberry-lemon, and strawberry-lemon.

Essential Oil Ravioli Hearts

These noodles are so cute and fun to make, and they make a perfect Valentine’s Day dinner! The recipe is a little complicated, but this ravioli is to die for, making it worth every minute! It’s so fun that all the kids will want to join in and help you cut out the noodles! The hardest part will be sharing these tasty raviolis with the rest of the family.

Homemade Ravioli

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Difficult
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Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups (180 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 tsp. (1.5 g) salt
  • 1–2 Tbsp. (15–30 ml) water (as needed)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) water
  • Cheese mixture (recipe below)
  • Marinara sauce (recipe below)
  • Parmesan cheese for topping

Instructions:

  1. Combine flour, 2 eggs, and salt in a food processor, and process until well mixed.
  2. If necessary, slowly add water until the mixture forms a firm dough.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough until smooth. Check the dough by cutting it with a knife. Once there are no air bubbles in the middle, and the outside is smooth, the dough is ready.
  4. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, and let stand for 30 minutes.
  5. Divide dough into 4 portions, and roll out to about 1/16″  (1.5 mm) thickness using a rolling pin or pasta machine.
  6. Using a heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut hearts into the dough. Or cut the dough into 2″ (5 cm) squares using a knife.
  7. Combine 1 lightly beaten egg and 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) water in a bowl, and brush the dough pieces lightly with the mixture.
  8. Place a small spoonful of the cheese mixture (recipe below) in the middle of the dough, leaving enough space around the edges to seal the dough.
  9. Lay the second piece of dough on top, and use your fingers to press the edges down around the cheese so they stick together.
  10. Bring a pot of saltwater to boil, and gently drop the ravioli into the boiling water. Cook 1/4 of the ravioli at a time to avoid the noodles sticking together. Cook for 5–10 minutes (depending on the thickness of the noodles), or until tender.
  11. Using a slotted spoon, remove the ravioli from the water, and place on a serving dish.
  12. Top with marinara sauce (recipe below) and parmesan cheese.

Notes:
If your noodles are thick, they will take longer to cook.
If you have leftover cheese filling, it makes a great topper for the finished pasta for an added cheesy kick.

Basil and Oregano Cheese Filling

  • Servings: Yield=2 cups (500 ml)
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (125 g) ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup (55 g) shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup (55 g) shredded gouda cheese
  • 1/2 cup (50 g) shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1/4 tsp. (125 mg) dried parsley
  • 1/4 tsp. (1.5 g) salt
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 toothpick oregano essential oil
  • 1 toothpick basil essential oil

Instructions:

  1. Combine cheeses, parsley, salt, and pepper.
  2. Dip a toothpick in the oregano and basil oils, and run the toothpicks through the cheese mixture to combine.
  3. Taste, and add more salt, pepper, and/or essential oil as needed.

The taste may be a little strong, but once the noodles are boiled, the flavor will be much milder.
You can use just about any kind of cheese in this recipe, not just the ones listed. If you have other cheeses, experiment to find out which ones give the best flavor for you!

Marinara Sauce

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) olive oil
  • 1/2 white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp. (9 g) salt
  • 2 cans crushed tomatoes (28 oz. each)
  • 1 drop oregano essential oil
  • 1 drop rosemary essential oil
  • 1 drop thyme essential oil

Instructions:

  1. Place the olive oil and chopped onion in a saucepan, and sauté over medium heat until the onions are tender.
  2. Add the garlic in with the onions, and continue cooking for an additional minute, stirring frequently.
  3. Add the salt and crushed tomatoes to the saucepan. Stir everything in the saucepan together, and continue cooking until warmed through.
  4. Turn off the heat, and stir in the oregano, rosemary, and thyme essential oils.
  5. Serve over your choice of noodles.

Essential Oil Spotlight: Basil


Basil essential oil (Ocimum basilicum CT linalool) is steam-distilled from the leaves, stems, and flowers of the basil plant. This oil is characteristically known for its herbaceous, spicy, anise-like, camphorous, and lively aroma.

Anciently, basil was used to treat respiratory problems, digestive and kidney ailments, epilepsy, poisonous insect or snake bites, fevers, epidemics, and malaria. The French have historically used basil to help aid migraines, mental fatigue, and menstrual periods.

Today basil is most commonly used for autism, bee/hornet stings, bronchitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, cramps (abdominal), earache, hiatal hernia, incisional hernia, infertility, mouth ulcers, muscular dystrophy, ovarian cyst, and viral hepatitis. This essential oil primarily affects the cardiovascular system, muscles, and skeletal system.

Basil contains antibacterial, antidepressant, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antispasmodic (powerful), antiviral, decongestant (veins, arteries of the lungs, prostate), diuretic, disinfectant (urinary/pulmonary), energizing, stimulant (nerves, adrenal cortex), and uplifting health properties.

Other possible uses of basil oil include anxiety, chills, concentration, digestion, fainting, insect repellent, chronic mucus, vomiting, and whooping cough.

Applications of Basil Essential Oil and Safety Data:

Topical Application: Basil can be applied neat (with no dilution) directly to the area of concern and reflex points. Dilute with a carrier oil when using on sensitive skin or children (see safety data below).
Aromatic Application: Diffuse, or inhale the aroma directly. The aroma of basil helps one maintain an open mind and increases clarity of thought.
Internal Application: Basil is recognized as safe for internal consumption by the FDA and may be used as a food flavoring agent or taken in capsules.
Safety Data: Basil is not to be consumed internally by children under 6 years old and should be used with caution and in greater dilution for children 6 years old and older. The use of this oil should be avoided during pregnancy. Basil should not be used by people with epilepsy. This oil may also irritate sensitive skin; test by applying to a small area before continuing application.

5 Ways to Use Basil Essential Oil:

1. Massage
There’s nothing like a simple soothing massage with some of your favorite essential oils to calm your mood. Try these massage blends to help boost your mental health and aid carpal tunnel syndrome.

Mental Fatigue Massage Blend
4 drops basil essential oil
4 drops lemon essential oil
4 drops juniper essential oil
2 Tbsp. (25 ml) carrier oil or butter
Combine essential oils with your favorite carrier oil or butter, and lightly massage into your neck, hands, and feet.
Carpal Tunnel Massage Oil
3 drops basil essential oil
3 drops marjoram essential oil
2 drops lemongrass essential oil
2 drops cypress essential oil
1 Tbsp. (15 ml) Fractionated Coconut Oil
Blend oils together, and massage gently into your arm from your shoulder down to your fingertips. You can also make this massage oil in a roll-on bottle for easier application.

2. Earache
Basil is great for helping to dull painful earaches. Add 1 drop each of basil and melaleuca to a cotton ball, and hold over the ear canal for 30 minutes. Do not place directly into the ear canal.

3. Diffuse
Basil’s aroma can have an amazing influence, as it helps one maintain an open mind and increases clarity of thought. Try out some of these diffuser blends to help you focus and engage better in all your endeavors.

4. Bath
Bath salts are perfect for relaxing, but they are also a great way to soak up the benefits of essential oils. Try out the following recipe to help calm your anxiety and energize your body. Remember that basil may irritate sensitive skin, so be careful and dilute further if necessary.

Calm the Anxiety Bath Salts
2 cups (500 g) Epsom Salt
1/2 tsp. (2 g) baking powder
1 tsp. (5 ml) Sweet Almond Oil
3 drops lime essential oil
2 drops basil essential oil
16 oz. PET Jar
Combine salt and baking powder. In a separate bowl, mix essential oils with almond oil. If desired, mix in a few drops of food coloring. Slowly stir oils into the salt mixture, and blend well. Allow the salts to sit for a couple hours in order for the salt to soak up the scent. Add 1/2–1 cup (125–250 g) of salt mixture to your bath under the running tap.

5. Cooking
Basil essential oil is a great ingredient to add to your kitchen. This oil can add rich flavor to any of your recipes with just a drop or less. When adding basil essential oil to your food, start with a toothpick dipped in the oil and stirred into the mixture, and add more until you reach the desired taste. Keep in mind that cooking (or heating) the oil tones down the bold flavor. Here are some of our favorite recipes with basil essential oil!

Sources:
Modern Essentials™: The Complete Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 9th Edition, pp. 38–39.
Aromatherapy Blends & Remedies by Franzesca Watson
Organic Beauty With Essential Oil by Rebecca Park Totilo

Fat-Busting Fat Bombs and Shakes (Keto Friendly)

Why Fats are Fab

Contrary to conventional wisdom, researchers have lately discovered that fat doesn’t make you fat. In fact, your body actually requires healthy, natural fats for proper hormone production and metabolism. It’s the quick-release carbohydrates in sugars and grains that the body coverts to fat stores.

That’s why the ketogenic diet has caught fire. (In a nutshell—and nut fats are in—eating keto means getting 60–70% of daily calories from fat, 15–30% from protein, and 5–10% from carbohydrates). The goal is to get your body to burn fat instead of glucose for energy.

The main problem with drastically cutting those naughty sugars and grains is nagging carb cravings. So whether you’re strictly eating keto or just cutting back on carbs for weight control, satisfying fat bombs and shakes can be a diet saver. Flavoring them with essential oils just ups the overall body benefits.

Fat Bomb Basics

Ingredient Categories

  • Healthy fat foundation: such as coconut oil, cacao butter, ghee, or avocado oil. Also heavy whipping cream, milk, butter, and cream cheese, if you consume dairy products.
  • Protein-infused texture: nuts (e.g., almonds, pecans, walnuts), natural nut butters (no sugar added), shredded coconut (unsweetened), chia seeds, flax seeds, etc.
  • Low- or no-sugar flavoring: very dark chocolate, powdered cacao or cocoa*, vanilla extract, erythritol, stevia, essential oils, etc.

Easy Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients together, after melting solid fats only as needed.
  2. Form balls on a baking sheet, or use silicone molds. A small cookie scoop coated with cooking spray may help.
  3. Solidify, and store in the freezer or refrigerator.

Delectable Diet Desserts

Vegan Cinnamon-Coconut Bombs (with Chocolate-Peppermint Variation)

  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1 cups (225 g) coconut butter (not oil) or almond butter
  • 1 cups (240 ml) coconut milk (full-fat)
  • 1 cup (95 g) unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 tsp. (5 ml) vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. (2 g) stevia powder, or to taste (or 2–3 Tbsp. [30–45 ml] raw honey, if a few extra carbs are okay)
  • 1 drop cinnamon essential oil

Instructions:

  1. Soften coconut butter (not melt), and then mix with all the other ingredients.
  2. Form balls on baking sheet, or use silicone molds. A small cookie scoop coated with cooking spray may help.
  3. Solidify, and store in the freezer or refrigerator.

Chocolate-Peppermint Variation:

  • Add 1/4 cup (30 g) cacao or cocoa powder
  • Substitute 1 drop peppermint essential oil for cinnamon oil.

Vegan Chocolate-Coconut-Pecan Bombs (with Dairy Variation)

  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (170 g) no- or low-sugar very dark chocolate chips** (or chopped baker’s chocolate)
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy whipping cream
  • 3/4 cup (70 g) unsweetened, shredded coconut
  • 3/4 cup (85 g) finely chopped pecans
  • 1/2 tsp. (2.5 ml) vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp. (1.5 g) powdered stevia, or to taste
  • 1 drop essential oil: peppermint, cinnamon, or orange

Instructions:

  1. Mix coconut oil with all the other ingredients.
  2. Form balls on a baking sheet, or use silicone molds. A small cookie scoop coated with cooking spray may help.
  3. Solidify, and store in the freezer or refrigerator.

Brown Cow “Cookie Dough” Bombs

  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. (225 g) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup (113 g) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup (135 g) natural almond or peanut butter (no sugar added)
  • 1/2 cup (85 g) no- or low-sugar very dark chocolate chips** (or chopped baker’s chocolate)
  • 1/3 cup (65 g) erythritol
  • 1 tsp. (5 ml) vanilla extract
  • 1 drop cinnamon essential oil

Instructions:

  1. Mix all the ingredients together.
  2. Form balls on a baking sheet, or use silicone molds. A small cookie scoop coated with cooking spray may help.
  3. Solidify, and store in the freezer or refrigerator.


Bonus Chocolate Bomb Shake

  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 2 cups (480 ml) coconut milk (full-fat)
  • 2 Tbsp. (31 g) almond butter (peanut butter works but may overwhelm essential oil flavoring)
  • 2 Tbsp. (15 g) cacao or cocoa powder
  • 1 Tbsp. chia and/or ground flax seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. (1 g) stevia powder
  • 1 cup (150 g) ice cubes (or a little cold water)—or more for desired consistency
  • 2 drops peppermint, cinnamon, or orange essential oil

Instructions:

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender or BlenderBottle®, and blend or shake until smooth.

Orange-Berry Variation

  • Substitute 1/2 cup (85 g) berries for nut butter—strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, or blueberries
  • Use 2 drops orange essential oil

*Strictly speaking, raw cacao powder is cold-pressed from unroasted cocoa beans, while cocoa powder is cacao that has been roasted at high temperatures. Raw cacao possesses over 3 times the antioxidant capacity of processed cocoa.
**Many grocery chains carry Guittard 63% cacao very dark chocolate chips (6 g sugar per 15 g by weight). Health food stores may carry sugar-free very dark chocolate chips.

Sources:
http://www.businessinsider.com/eating-fat-wont-make-you-fat-gain-weight-says-doctor-2017-11

The real difference between cacao and cocoa

Pressure Cooker Butter Chicken (Flavored with Essential Oils!)

Butter chicken is simple to make and commonly liked, even by those who don’t normally like Indian food. This version of butter chicken uses essential oils to achieve the exotic flavor of the dish. We used a pressure cooker (Instant Pot®) for this recipe, but you could let it simmer on the stove with similar results.

Butter Chicken with Essential Oils

  • Servings: 6–8
  • Difficulty: Moderate
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Initial Ingredients:

  • 1 can (14 oz.) diced tomatoes
  • 5–6 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp. (3 g) turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp. (1 g) cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. (2 g) paprika
  • 1 tsp. (6 g) salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp. (2 g) garam masala
  • 2 lbs. (1 kg) boneless chicken thighs (see substitution note below)

Final Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (100 g) coconut oil or butter, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) coconut milk or heavy cream
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 2 drops cumin essential oil
  • 1–2 drops coriander essential oil
  • 1 drop cardamom essential oil
  • 1 drop cassia essential oil
  • 1 drop clove essential oil
  • 1 drop black pepper essential oil
  • 1 drop ginger essential oil
  • 1/4–1/2 cup (15–30 g) fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped

Instructions:

  1. Place all the initial ingredients into the pressure cooker. Mix the sauce well, and then place the chicken on top of the sauce.
  2. Seal the pressure cooker, and cook on high pressure for 10 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes before quickly releasing the remaining pressure.
  3. Remove the chicken, and set aside. Remove and discard the bay leaf.
  4. Using an immersion blender (or regular blender with care—the liquid is really hot!), blend up the sauce.
  5. Allow the sauce to cool a little before adding the butter, coconut milk, cilantro or parsley, nutmeg, and essential oils. If you add these items while the sauce is too hot, it will be a thin sauce. Just place it in the fridge for a little bit to help it thicken.
  6. Cut the chicken into chunks before adding back into the sauce.
  7. Serve over rice or zucchini noodles or with a side of naan.

Notes/Substitutions:

  • You can substitute some or all the chicken with tofu, steamed vegetables, or shrimp. Just add 1/4 cup (60 ml) water to the sauce before cooking, then add the substituted ingredients after cooking and heat until warm or cooked through.
  • You can use frozen chicken. Just push it into the sauce before cooking and add 1–2 minutes to the cook time.