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White Chocolate, Lemon and Coconut Date Balls


I created this recipe for White Chocolate, Lemon and Coconut Date Balls out of a strong desire to eat body lotion.  WAIT WHAT????????

Okay, let me back track a little bit, I don’t want you to think I’ve gone completely mad.  One of my co-workers is very passionate about using skincare products that are effective, natural, safe and made with minimal to no chemicals or other harmful toxins.  So passionate in fact, that she supplies high quality soap and hand lotion for employees at my job.  The most recent jar of hand lotion she provided was scented with coconut and lemon.  I really love its light and airy scent.

One day, I was feeling the munchies pretty bad (it was clearly time for a high protein snack, but I digress).  After using the lotion and smelling it on my hands, I thought to myself, this smells good enough to eat!  Thankfully I resisted the urge to consume the body lotion.  I also immediately started brainstorming ways to combine the flavors of coconut and lemon into a tempting treat.

This recipe is an adaptation of my orange and dark chocolate energy balls.  The link to that recipe can be found here.


For those of you who love coconut, this recipe uses several different kinds of coconut products; shredded coconut, coconut oil and coconut butter,  adding several layers of texture to the overall coconut flavor in the date balls.

The white chocolate and dates add sweetness, and the lemon extract and lemon zest give the date balls a burst of lemony freshness and zing.


These date balls are perfect to bring to a party.  Your friends will be very happy if you make these to share.  Enjoy!

White Chocolate, Lemon and Coconut Date Balls

Servings: makes 27-30 date balls


  • 2 cups almonds
  • 15 mejool dates, pitted
  • 1 cup shredded coconut, divided
  • ¾ cup white chocolate chips
  • ½ cup coconut butter
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons pure lemon extract
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Zest from one lemon
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt


  1. Place the almonds in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse almonds in food processor until they form small crumbs. Pour the almonds into a large bowl, and set aside.
  2. Place the mejool dates in the food processor, and puree until smooth.
  3. Add the almond crumbs back into the bowl of the food processor. Reserving ½ cup of shredded coconut, add the remaining ingredients into the bowl of the food processor, and process until the ingredients have fully incorporated, the mixture becomes sticky and you can form the dough into balls.
  4. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  5. Place a golf size ball of the almond coconut mixture in the palm of your hand, press the dough together and roll into a ball. Once the ball has been rolled, place on the parchment lined baking sheet.
  6. Repeat with the remaining mixture.
  7. Pour ½ cup of shredded coconut onto a large plate. Roll a date ball in the coconut mixture, and place back on the parchment lined baking sheet after it has been coated with the shredded coconut.  Repeat with the remaining date balls until each one has been coated with shredded coconut.
  8. Place the baking sheet with the date balls in the fridge for 20-30 minutes (or in the freezer for 10-15 minutes) to become firm.
  9. After 10-15 minutes, take them out of the fridge (or freezer), serve and enjoy! The remaining date balls should be kept refrigerated or frozen.

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Creamy Avocado and Cilantro Cauliflower Rice

I like to live dangerously, on the edge of my seat.  I go where the wind takes me, and love to experiment and try new things all of the time.  I’m a true rebel, wild and free.  Okay, so those last three sentences were complete fiction.  Well, not complete fiction.  Sometimes, I like to live dangerously by going 4 miles over the speed limit in a 40 mile an hour zone, but only if there are several other cars going over the speed limit.  And when I say I like to experiment and try new things, I really just mean going through the grocery store in a different order than my usual pattern (but I don’t do that a lot, since it means getting out of my comfort zone.  I mean, what happens if they run out of avocados because I decided to go through the bulk section of the store first?  True story.  Okay, not really).

I know I have your rapt attention now, you’re probably just hanging on the edge of your seats waiting to see what else I’ll reveal, huh?

The one place I do like to experiment is in the kitchen.  I love whipping up meals, and making friends taste test my successful (and unsuccessful) recipe developments.  This particular recipe for Creamy Avocado and Cilantro cauliflower rice turned out to be very tasty, and I’m excited to share it with you.  I have mentioned the versatility of cauliflower in a previous blog post here, and decided to use it to create a delicious side to take with me as a contribution to a BBQ party with some friends from my CrossFit gym a couple of weeks ago.


Does continuing to exercise for 2-3 seconds after the instructor calls time during a CrossFit WOD (workout of the day) seem dangerous to you?  If so, I’m bad to the bone.

Be a rebel, and try out this recipe 😉  Let me know how it turned out in the comments!


CREAMY AVOCADO AND CILANTRO CAULIFLOWER RICE – recipe adapted from Girl Meets Paleo.

Servings: serves 8-12


For the Rice

  • 2 heads cauliflower, rinsed, chopped and broken into small florets
  • 1 tablespoon ghee*

For the Sauce

  • 2 avocados
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 bunch cilantro leaves, rinsed with 1-inch of the stems removed
  • juice from 1 lime
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. Place cauliflower florets in a food processor, and pulse until the cauliflower is the size of small grains of rice.  You will need to “rice” the cauliflower in several batches.
  2. Heat the ghee over medium high heat in large skillet.  Once the ghee is heated, add the riced cauliflower to the skillet, and saute  the cauliflower rice on medium high heat for 6-8 minutes until cooked through.
  3. Once the cauliflower is cooked, turn off the heat and set aside.
  4. Place all of the ingredients for the sauce In the food processor, and puree until smooth.
  5. Pour sauce mixture over the cauliflower rice, and stir to combine.
  6. Pour mixture in a bowl and serve immediately.



  • You can substitute coconut oil for the ghee to make the recipe vegan friendly.
  • I made this recipe for a large crowd, so it makes a lot of servings.  I would recommend cutting the ingredients in half (and using the same instructions) if you want to serve this for a smaller crowd.

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Indian Spiced Roasted Cauliflower

I love brussels sprouts.  Weird, right?  The first time I ever ate this vegetable, they had been cooked by steaming them whole.  I took one bite, and spit it out in disgust.  I vowed never to eat them again, figuring there were plenty of other vegetables I could tolerate; although at the time, the list of veggies that I actually liked was small (turns out corn covered in margarine does not a healthy meal make).

After I  transitioned to a more Paleo/Primal lifestyle, I realized I needed to start loving veggies, since they would play a much bigger role in my diet.  I started of with simple things like salads and frozen green beans.  But that wasn’t doing it for me.  I needed more flavor and more variety.

A whole new world opened up for me when I started roasting vegetables.  Roasted zucchini, roasted spaghetti squash, roasted broccoli, roasted green beans, it seemed I couldn’t go wrong with roasting (probably because roasting brings out the natural sugars, and I admit to being somewhat of a sugar addict). Which brings me back to brussels sprouts.  I discovered a tip for cutting them in half before cooking them so that they are less bitter, and decided to give them another chance.  Roasting the halved brussels sprouts (before roasting them I tossed them in a mixture of olive oil and balsamic vinegar) forever changed my world, and I now typically eat roasted brussels sprouts at least once or twice a week.

So what does that have to do with roasted cauliflower?  Nothing actually.  Okay, just kidding.  For people who don’t like veggies (or think they don’t like them), I would recommend finding different ways to prepare them.  It may not be about the veggies themselves, but instead it may be how they are prepared, since different cooking methods can greatly affect both taste and texture.

I initially felt the same way about cauliflower as I did about brussels sprouts.  But I’ve since learned a variety of ways to cook cauliflower, making such recipes as cauliflower mashed potatoes, cauliflower pizza, cauliflower soup, and cauliflower bread sticks.

Another secret to enjoying veggies is covering them in ghee (or butter, depending on whether you have any dairy sensitivity).  What is ghee, you may ask?  It is a type clarified butter, made by heating butter until the water has evaporated, and the milk solids have browned, which gives ghee its nutty flavor.  For more information about ghee and its benefits, check out Stephanie Gaudreau’s take on incorporating ghee  into a healthy diet on her blog Stupid Easy Paleo.

When I went to Paleo F(X) back in April of 2014, I checked out a booth hosted by Pure Indian Foods.  Pure Indian Foods is a company that makes several different types of products, but is known for its production of ghee.

They make grass-feed ghee,


spiced ghees,


and something truly unique, a mixture of coconut and ghee (a 50/50 mixture of organic grass-fed ghee and organic virgin coconut oil).


After answering several of my questions about the company’s products, the owner of the company graciously provided me with a jar of ghee to try out.  And after seeing all of the different spiced ghees available, I went head and purchased a sample package of the different flavors – with flavors like garlic ghee and italian ghee, I just couldn’t pass them up!

Although I have learned many different ways to use cauliflower, roasting is usually my go to method for cooking them.  This simple recipe for Indian Spiced Roasted Cauliflower is a great addition to any meal.  I like to pair them as a side dish with chicken tikka masala.   I incorporated Pure Indian Foods grass-fed ghee into the recipe, and it did not disappoint!

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Indian Spiced Roasted Cauliflower – recipe adapted from Oroville Crossfit.

Servings: serves 4-6


  • 2 heads cauliflower, rinsed, chopped and broken into small florets
  • 3 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter) at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons Garam Masala
  • 2 teaspoons of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of tumeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Place cauliflower florets into a large mixing bowl.
  4. Place the remaining ingredients in a small mixing bowl, and stir thoroughly until combined.
  5. pour the mixture over the cauliflower florets (mixture will be thick), and toss to coat.
  6. Pour the cauliflower onto the lined baking dishes, and spread out evenly so that the cauliflower florets are not too crowded.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes.
  8. remove from oven and serve immediately.



  • You can substitute melted butter for the ghee.

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Epic Orange and Chocolate Date Balls of Awesomeness

Testing and creating new recipes is a passion of mine, a passion born of growing up as a picky eater, and learning to cook food that I enjoyed since my Mom had no plans to become a short order cook.  I’ve had multiple successes and failures in the kitchen, but for the most part the meals I create are enjoyed by both family and friends.  And since stumbling upon what I call the JERF movement (just eat real food), I strive to incorporate real, whole, unprocessed foods into my diet as much as possible.  But, please don’t think my diet is bland and boring.  Trust me, I don’t sit around eating steamed veggies and dry chicken every day, although I wish I could sit around eating bacon all day (but that’s just a wish my heart makes).  I want the meals I create to be both visually exciting and full of flavor.

One recipe in particular, involving date balls, gets rave reviews every time I whip a batch of these treats to share.  There are many date ball recipes floating around on the internet, and I am excited to add my own personal spin to on the standard date balls to the mix.

These date balls include the following ingredients:  dry roasted almonds, mejool dates, unsweetened shredded coconut, enjoy life chocolate chips, cocao nibs, vanilla extract, orange extract, sea salt, coconut oil, and Barney’s chocolate almond butter.


After mixing the ingredients together (using the instructions detailed below) and shaping them into balls, you get these lovely things:


The date balls are fine as is if you stopped at this part of the recipe, but if you enjoy coconut and want an added layer of flavor, you can roll the balls in a mixture of unsweetened coconut and cacao nibs to get these beauties:



These treats are easy to make and fun to share.  If you create this recipe, I would love to hear what you think of them!

Epic Orange & Chocolate Date Balls of Awesomeness – recipe yields 15-20 date balls (depending on size)


  • 1 cup dry roasted and unsalted almonds
  • 20 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/2 cup + 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (divided)
  • ½ cup enjoy life chocolate chips
  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp orange extract
  • Zest from ½ orange
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ cup Barney’s chocolate almond butter
  • ¼ cup cocoa nibs


  1. Process almonds in a food processor until they look like crumbs (don’t process too long or it will turn into almond butter).   Empty almond crumbs into a separate bowl.
  2. Process the medjool dates until they are sticky and in small pieces.  It may form a ball in the food processor.  You’ll want to break this ball apart before the next step.
  3. Once you have processed the medjool dates, add back into the food processor the almond crumbs.  Then add in 1/2 a cup of unsweetened shredded coconut, vanilla extract, orange extract, orange zest, sea salt and chocolate almond butter.  Process the ingredients in the food processor until it looks like the ingredients start to stick together.  If the mixture is still crumbly, add more medjool dates, 2 or 3 at a time, until the mixture becomes sticky and you can form the dough into balls.
  4. Once the dough is ready, add the chocolate chips and use the pulse feature on your food processor until the chocolate chips have been incorporated into the mixture.
  5. Form the dough into  balls using 1 or 2 tbs for each ball (depending on how big you want them to be) and place the balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  6. Once you have finished forming the balls, add the remaining1/2 cup of shredded coconut and ¼ cup cacao nibs in the food process and process for 20-25 seconds.
  7. Lay out the shredded coconut/cacao nib mixture onto a plate and roll each date ball in the mixture.   Once each date ball has been coated, place them back on the parchment paper.  Repeat this step as necessary until you have used up all of the date ball mixture and coating.
  8. Refrigerate the date balls for 30 minutes or until you are ready to serve them (you can also freeze them, although you may want to defrost for 10 to 15 minutes before serving).

Notes :

  •  If you can’t find dry roasted unsalted almonds, you can roast 1 cup of raw almonds at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.  Let the almonds cool for about 10 minutes before moving on to the next step of the recipe.
  • If you have difficulty finding Barney’s chocolate almond butter, you can substitute with regular almond butter, or any other kind of nut butter you may prefer.
  • You can substitute cocoa butter for cacao nibs.
  • This recipe is great even without the orange extract/orange zest if you would prefer not to add it.