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Pure Potluck Party : healthy recipes



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It’s mid – february and it’s still the dead of winter around here.

One way I like to stay happy is to play and have fun in the kitchen…. because good food is good comfort food. And where there is good comfort food – there is Love. 

February is the toughest month to pull through, thank goodness it’s the shortest month. (I think they totally planned that for a reason). And probably why Valentine’s Day got thrown in there too… just to add some excitement to the never-ending season of winter. I find I crave all kinds of dishes at this time of the year, one day it’s the freshness for Spring and I go all out with fresh greens and crispy radishes, but then I have days where I crave good hot meals that nourish my body and soul and bring the family together for comfort and love around our round kitchen flavour. I also pay attention to the cold and flu season – it’s still easy to catch something, because even +1 celsius temperatures can confuse your head and you think you can forgo the hot wooly hat. (A huge mistake on my part, which is probably why I’m still recuperating after a cold with a nasty cough started two days ago).  So healing foods such as onions and garlic and ginger have been upped in all the foods we prepare around here, to keep the cold bug away.

Please join in the fun and share your favourite recipe you are craving right now! Is is wintery soul food or is it a jump into Spring? Anything goes ;)   Just a reminder we’re focusing on plant-based, egg-free, dairy-free and meat-free recipes as well as gluten or wheat free dishes. Some exceptions apply such as using honey or ancient grains that have gluten like spelt and kamut which are very healthy. Recipes should be all natural, with no refined sugar and with no processed ingredients, no preservatives or artificial colours of flavours and organic as much as possible. Also, I don’t think recipes ever get dated, so please feel free to dust off some old goodies from the archives and share them again ;)

Linking up? Thank you! By doing so, you allow Pure Ella permission to share your recipe and photo on other social media such as Pinterest. Please be sure to add a link to your post that you shared this recipe here on the Pure Ella’s Pure Potluck Party. Thank you!   


Pure Ella 

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Citrus Fruit Winter Salad



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It’s mid winter here…. the mid of a very cold snowy winter that does not seem to end… and I don’t know how to really pull through.

Winter can be fun, but by the middle of February I have enjoyed enough. Now, I can find myself daydreaming of warmer days… or just moving to California! I fantasize I can just walk outside into my backyard and pick a fresh clementine right off a tree…. oh my – I sometimes completely forget people live like this in warm climates and don’t have to plan an extra 20 minutes to clear the car off snow (again today) or require double socks or an extra pair of warm mitts because kids apparently loose a mitt per week (wish I knew and stocked up with 5 pairs at the beginning of winter). 

This winter especially has been a bit on the evil side, it’s bitter cold and so snowy and icy, I often get yelled at for trying to leave the house to go for a walk because it’s too slippery and it’s not safe for me or the baby. I do enjoy living in Southern Ontario but right about now, I’m just done with winter. And since we’re not planning a vacation anytime soon, and I need to rely on our photos from our recent trip to the Bahamas to try and remember the heat of the sun and flirt of the wind on my hair… I know we’re done with vacationing for a very long time. 

So I will just get right back to my daydreams… where I go and pick fresh clementines right from my clementine tree in my backyard… and try to forget the bitter pinch of frost bite on my fingers and toes. I’ll just pretend away and really truly appreciate that I can pick up fresh citrus fruit from my grocery store. Peel the skin and allow the fresh aroma to intoxicate you with tropical zesty wildly flavourful bite of that clementine.

I know eating local is ideal – but once the country wraps itself in a white blanket for 6 months… what do you do? I’m in complete appreciation that we can have these beautiful foods in the dead of winter. It’s pure happiness… and nutrition!



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Clean Eating : Citrus Fruit Winter Salad

Serving for 2.

Ingredients :

1 pink grapefruit
2-3 clementines
1/2 pomegranate, deseeded
a few leaves of fresh mint

Directions :

Wash and peel off the skins of the fruit. Cut the grapefruit into chunks and slice the clementines into slices so it looks pretty in a wide bowl.

To deseed the pomegranate, my favourite way is to submerge into a bowl of cool water and cut and pull apart the pieces while the fruit is submerged in the water. I have tried many methods (including the ‘spanking’ method) this is the only way I find keeps the juices away from your clothes and surrounding area – that’s because the water prevents the juice bursts to fly through the water and they stay in the bowl. Then, drain  the arils on a calendar and enjoy!

Sprinkle the pomegranate arils on top of the grapefruit and clementine slices, Top with fresh mint leaves and serve.



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The citrusy and minty freshness of this is just incredible and it really wakes you up! Not to mention it’s so healthy full of Vitamin C, beta carotene – great for skin, fibre and antioxidants and lots more.

I made this salad when a friend called the other day that she’s in the area and wants to drop by for a visit in 15 minutes! I like to make something nice for my friends but I’m not always good with last minute things…. I really had nothing to serve at the house, no dessert or cookies except for this beautiful bowl of fresh fruit. 

So, within minutes I had the salad waiting on the table and the kettle boiling for some tea. When my friend saw the pretty salad she looked so happy and thrilled, she said I made her day! ;) It ended up the perfect ‘dessert’ after all.

 



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Are you craving citrus fruit right now?

How do you make winter days bearable right now?

Pure Ella 

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Pure Wisdom : Stop waiting for Miracles

 



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Do you believe in Miracles? 

I actually don’t! I believe in Myself instead.

If I believed in miracles, would I just wait around to see if some act of god would cure me from my illness – or would I take charge and put my health into my own hands?

If I believed in miracles, would I devote time to research and educate myself about nutrition and health benefits of food, or would I just do as I thought was ‘healthy’ and wait for better days?

If I believed in miracles, would I let my body get even weaker and rely on help to lift me from bed, a chair or the toilet, or would I learn to care for my weak body and make small efforts to strengthen and include regular exercise to keep me stronger.

If I believed in miracles, would I stop reading stories to my daughter when I could not speak or read out loud… when my voice was barely audible. No, because she wouldn’t know that even with her struggles, mommy didn’t give up on being a mommy. And even now, a few years later, when I ask her if she remembers mommy’s weak voice, she hugs me and says “I remember, but I wasn’t scared…”

If I believed in miracles, would I wait in sadness and depression dreading each day but wish for better days. No, I preferred being dedicated to the choices I made with my lifestyle and what was on my plate to heal me so that I can actually live a normal life where I can go for a walk when I want, lift my daughter to a swing or physically smile when I feel like. 

Life has its struggles, some bigger some smaller….  These are all tests how strong we are and how we can persevere with our life, our relationships, our health, career etc. We can’t program our life to be perfect.

Do you wish for miracles to live a better life…? I don’t! I make changes today that will create miracles in my life tomorrow!

Those changes are how I connect with others from the moment I wake up, this is how I talk to my husband and daughter in the morning. I put effort to create a nice morning even though I don’t always ‘feel’ in tip top shape first thing in the morning. I make sure they are nourished with a good healthy breakfast to fuel them for the morning. I share my thoughts and feelings with my family in a kind way that I’m clear and heard without creating or adding drama to a situation. I take care of myself by allowing myself to breathe, not get overwhelmed with the days’ tasks. I listen to my body in what it needs to feel its best, to heal, to energize or rest. I create moments and do not wait for moments to happen. I realize I am not perfect and I am a work in progress everyday. But what I put into a day, those efforts make me smile at the end of the day. No miracles needed, just myself and my changes to create miracles.


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Wishing you all a great week ahead.

I hope you believe in yourself and start Creating Miracles in your life right now! ;)

 

Pure Ella 

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Happy Valentine’s Day



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Hello my sweet friends!! Just a little note to wish you all a very Happy Valentine’s Day!

Whether you are celebrating it or not, have a partner or not, what’s most important is how you show LOVE to yourself today and always…. ♥



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Wishing you all a wonderful V-Day and weekend coming up!

And for our Canadian friends – have an awesome Family Day long weekend ;)

ps. if you’re looking for cute printables, Nest of Posies has adorable FREE chalkboard style printables that are really sweet!

 

Pure Ella 

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Raw Hazelnut Chocolate Hearts



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I bet your heart just skipped a beat when you saw these goodies…. ;) 

I don’t even know how to break the news to you – but these Raw Hazelnut Chocolate Hearts are pure perfection!!
Not only are they decadent and divine in flavour and they taste kind of naughty with all that rich chocolate – but they are actually kind of good for you!! 

Worlds collide! It gets quite insane when a decadent chocolate dessert comes with health benefits! Craziness I know ;) Try to remain calm as I break this next news to you – - they take minutes to make!!! Like for real, you will be stuffing your face with cute heart shaped hazelnut chocolate deliciousness within 10 or 15 minutes*!!! Yes, seriously!!! *if you use shelled hazelnuts ;)

You know one thing I’ve learned on my healing journey (because if you are following my blog, you know I’ve had my struggles with health) is that nutrition comes first! But I also learned something else, nutrition doesn’t have to be a bad thing.
In fact, that’s the beauty of discovering good-for-you foods – they can be nutritious and taste amazing at the same time!!

Let’s not chat too much about nutrition right now as I know you’re just eager to make these raw *cookies*! So here’s the recipe… (I’ll come back in a bit and add the health benefits of using raw cacao and other great ingredients in these hearts)

 



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Raw Hazelnut Chocolate Hearts : gluten-free and vegan

Ingredients :

1 cup hazelnuts, skinned or see below how to roast them to get the skins off yourself
1/2 cup almonds
1 cup medjool dates, pitted
1/4 cup raw cacao powder
2-4 tablespoons of raw honey or agave/ maple syrup or other natural liquid sweetener + more if needed
pinch of himalayan pink salt or fine sea salt

You will need : food processor, rolling pin, parchment paper (not wax paper), heart shaped cookie cutter

Directions :

How to roast hazelnuts :

To roast the hazelnuts (which is so great to do yourself because the flavour is so much better and the texture crunchier – I recommend). Place the hazelnuts with their skins on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper and bake them for about 5-10 minutes in the oven at 300F until they slightly brown. Be sure to check on the often and giving them a stir half way to make sure they don’t burn. Once roasted, remove from the oven and allow to completely cool to the touch. 

Place them into a cloth and rub them with your hands. You will see the skins fall right off. Do this for the rest of the hazelnuts, some will be a little stubborn so you might need an extra rubbing. Leaving a little of the skins on is ok and will not ruin the flavour, but do aim for mostly white beautiful nuts with as little skins as possible.


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Back to the recipe :

In a food processor, blend on high the hazelnuts and almonds until crumbs form. Add the pitted dates and mix for a few more minutes. Then add the raw cacao, sweetener and salt. Continue mixing until you can see all the ingredients blended together well and the colour of the cacao gets transferred evenly into the whole mixture. Turn off the food processor and scrape down the sides to get all the goodies in. Turn on again for another minute or so. Turn off again and this time taste it to adjust the sweetness. I personally don’t like them too sweet and the dates have enough sugar too, but if you want you can add a little extra honey or agave nectar if you like. 

Remove from the food processor and you should have a nice big hazelnut chocolatey ball! Spread out another sheet of parchment paper (or reuse the one from the hazelnut roasting) and get ready for rolling out your ‘dough’. Sprinkle a little of the extra raw cacao on the parchment paper and roll out the dough with a rolling pin to about 1/4″ thickness.

With a heart shaped cookie cutter, cut out the hearts all over. Roll up the extra negative dough into a ball and roll it out again and continue until all the dough gets cut into heart shaped ‘cookies’.  
Near the end if you don’t have much dough left, go ahead and make a few Raw Hazelnut Chocolate Balls! ;) Just roll up the dough and enjoy ;)

If your home is a little on the warm side, these might get too soft, so I do recommend popping them in the refrigerator to keep hardened. Just stack them up in an air tight container with little parchment paper pieces in between each cookie. They are ready to eat and enjoy! ;) They keep well for up to a week in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

 



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Pure ingredients come together to make these simple little bites of yumminess. You don’t have to sacrifice taste when you want to make good food choices – and that especially is true for dessert.

Especially when now so many companies (and bloggers too) advertise their products or recipes as *healthy* – and yet they use low-fat products filled with chemicals, artificial colouring and flavours, preservatives and even GMO ingredients.

When you keep things simple, organic and pure… you will see that you don’t need much to enjoy beautiful food. These raw cookies for example, burst with so much flavour yet they are completely pure and natural.

What’s also great is that they are no-fuss, no-bake, quick to pull off and just super cute and delicious in the end! ;) You can eat great and delicious desserts without sacrificing the taste! And even get some awesome nutrition in your body while you indulge… why not? ;)



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Oohh don’t forget…. these make adorable gifts for Valentine’s Day. Made with only pure natural ingredients and lots of love…

I layered my hearts in a jar and sealed them up. A little red baker’s twine and a little red heart completes the look. Beautiful, simple and handmade gifts for Valentine’s Day are the best!  



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Do you give handmade or home baked gifts to your friends and loved ones? Do share what you’ve made if so ;) 

One for thing… Do Share The LOVE and share this with your friends on Facebook and Pinterest ;) They will Love YOU for it! ;)

Pure Ella 

If you’re new to Pure Ella, please sign up for email updates and join me elsewhere: 
 
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