EXPO WEST! My Top 5 Favorite New Discoveries!

This past weekend, I finally got to experience all the amazing madness that is Natural Products Expo West otherwise referred to as Expo West.

It’s a four day convention at the Anaheim convention center where just about every natural product line comes to showcase their products and debut new ones to wholesalers, health practitioners, retailers, bloggers/influencers, press, distributors etc.
Now, imagine Disneyland on the most crowded day where it’s packed with people but instead of children excited to meet Mickey & Minnie, it’s grown ups excited to EAT.

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread With Coffee Cake Crumble (Paleo, Dairy Free, Refined Sugar Free)

I love chocolate chip banana bread.

I also love chocolate chip coffee cake.

(Yes, I know, there’s an obvious common denominator here)

This morning after being out of town for a few days I saw we had a few bananas that were too brown to eat and just enough eggs to make banana bread.

So I whipped up an easy batch and then thought, you know what would be good?  a delicious chocolate chip coffee cake crumble for the top!

Dark Chocolate Custard Pie With A Chocolate Chip Cookie Crust (Dairy Free, Refined Sugar Free & Paleo)

I’ve been on a Christmas movie watching, cozy robe wearing, what-new-thing-can-I-bake today kick and I’m not mad at it.

Ever since I made a replica of Rachel’s Thanksgiving Trifle for Thanksgiving this year, I’ve been thinking about how to make a paleo custard that is satisfying but not full of refined sugar.

I loved the idea of a chocolate chip cookie pie crust and a dark chocolate custard filling for the ultimate treat! So I figured, why not try it? At the very least,  it had to be better than putting meat in a trifle right?!

Glazed Hanukkah Donuts with a Raspberry Chia Jam Drizzle (Grain, Gluten & Dairy Free)

Today marks the fourth day of Hanukkah! AND it’s Friday!

And while I  love that Hanukkah is 8 days of delicious fried food, my pants feel a bit differently about the whole situation. They really don’t love it so much. Nope not even a little bit. Seriously, I had to do that bend and stretch and kick my legs dance to get my jeans to button.

Welp.

So while 8 days in a row of fried donuts seems like a bit much… I can’t NOT have donuts with jelly on Hanukkah!

5-Ingredient Zucchini Latkes (Grain, Gluten + Dairy Free)

Hanukkah starts tomorrow night! 8 days of being commanded to eat fried foods!  You can’t have Hanukkah and NOT have latkes or donuts! It’s like having Thanksgiving without stuffing (the horror!)

But the thing about latkes? They take sooo long to make only to be eaten up in minutes!

The other thing about latkes? Because of fact number one above, a lot of people go with the store bought latkes and those contain flour and sometimes other unnecessary ingredients.  Which leaves me latke less and sad at Hanukkah parties! (Plus lets be real the store bought ones don’t usually taste that great…)

Simple and Not Too Sweet Acai Bowl (Paleo + Vegan)

I love me a good Acai bowl! They are filling and often filled with good for you ingredients.

BUT a lot of the ones you can get at smoothie shops are PACKED with sugar. And while fruit is delicious, fructose has a very similar effect on your blood sugar that regular sugar does, so a bowl made with fruit and then topped with more fruit will still give you that blood sugar spike and crash!

Pumpkin Chocolate Marbled Freezer Fudge (Paleo + Vegan)

Yes, I’m posting two fudge recipes back to back.

and I’m not mad about it. I don’t think you will be either.

After finishing off a batch of the chocolate freezer fudge during last weeks heat wave AND simultaneously seeing the rest of the country posting pumpkin recipes and photos allll over the place, I found myself both craving the freezer fudge AND all things pumpkin.

I had a lone can of pumpkin left in my pantry another batch of freezer fudge with pumpkin was really the obvious choice.

Mango Avocado Crunchy Slaw Salad (Paleo & Vegan)

I just started back up at work after three months off and I try to pack my lunch as often as possible. Usually on Sunday nights, I make a big batch of roasted veggies and a protein or two and throw them on top of some lettuce each morning and call it a day. It’s simple and filling and since I’m a creature of habit, it almost always does the trick.

BUT sometimes, salads are… BORING. And dark leafy greens is really not what I’m after. Ya know?

But I know when I eat a big sandwich or the big giant bowl of Gluten Free Pad Thai from P.F. Changs when the office orders from there, I’m usually ready for a nap about 30 minutes after lunch.

So to resist the salad boredom AND the post sandwich slump, I’ve been working on a few new recipes that are easy to whip up and a little bit different.

Enter this Mango

Almond Butter Acai Cauliflower Smoothie (Paleo, Dairy Free, Whole 30)

After 5 days in Kauai, it feels so good to be back home and back in my kitchen!

Don’t get me wrong, I loved every waking and sleeping second of Kauai – it’s such a beautiful place with the nicest people, stunning scenery, picture perfect weather and amazing fresh food. I will put together a whole post on our favorite food spots from our trip soon!

But after 5 days of a LOT of treats (all worth every single bite!) and eating every meal out, it’s nice to be back whipping up my own food.

I took my all time favorite barre class this morning and it’s been super humid and hot here in LA so cooking was not going to happen.  Also, we are VERY low on groceries so I just wanted to use up what we have in the freezer/pantry.

Enter: This dreamy Almond Butter Acai Cauliflower Smoothie.

This was my