Happy Holidays!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to Everyone!

The Holidays are very special to us! It’s the time we share laughs, create a lifetime of memories and establish new goals and adventurous dreams for the New Year. We want to share some of our healthy recipes and favorite Holiday movies for you and your family with our best wishes for you to create your own wonderful family gatherings! Blessings abound no matter who or where you are and always remember to reflect on NATURE and it’s profound beauty… Nature is a constant and our greatest guide to a happy life!

Here are our top 10 movies that we watch over and over again each year that remind us how special it is to get the family together for Christmas:

1. It’s a Wonderful Life
2. Christmas Story
3. Elf
4. Planes, Trains and Automobiles
5. Home Alone
6. Scrooged
7. Nightmare before Christmas
8. Charlie Brown Christmas
9. Miracle on 34th street
10. Love Actually

Bobby and I believe that the best way to get rid of the inevitable stress we all feel over the Holidays is to get outside every day and move around in nature whenever you can. A simple half hour walk helps to reduce stress and boosts your “happy “ hormones naturally! We like to get our whole tribe outside to play and it seriously keeps stress at bay. We have snowball fights, play whiffle ball and play charades when the evening sets in. The holidays are about joy so do things that make you FEEL it.

Cooking Tips and Recipes
In general we always focus on buying the freshest, whole foods available at the market. We also make sure that our turkey is not only organic but also treated well and able to roam freely on a farm. This helps to ensure you don’t have added chemicals in your food that can harm your body. You can check with your local farmer’s market and ask around for the best possible turkey for your family.
As for topping your sweet potatoes with marshmallows it’s really not necessary. They are naturally sweet already and such a good source of anti-cancer ingredients like Bobby mentioned, so adding marshmallows just takes away from their natural goodness. Try them with a dab of butter and some nutmeg and cinnamon for a real treat.

Hazelnut Stuffing with Mushrooms

Serves 6-8

• 3 tablespoons coconut oil
• 1 small yellow onion, diced
• 2 medium organic carrots, diced
• 2 medium organic celery stalks, diced
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 1/2 pounds medium-sized mushrooms, button, cremini, or a mix
• 1 cup hazelnuts, roasted, skins removed, coarsely chopped
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
• sea salt
• freshly ground black pepper
• 2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease an 8- or 9- inch baking pan with 1 teaspoon of the oil.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, and celery, cooking until onions become soft, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and sauté just until fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove vegetables to a large mixing bowl and set aside.
3. Place half of the mushrooms in the bowl of a food processor and coarsely chop. Slice the remaining mushrooms and set aside.
4. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in the same sauté pan. Add the coarsely chopped mushrooms and cook until mushrooms have given up most of their liquid, about 5 minutes. Place them in the bowl with the vegetable mixture.
5. Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil in the same sauté pan. Add mushroom slices and cook until mushrooms have given up most of their liquid, about 5 minutes. Add to bowl with vegetable mixture.
6. Add hazelnuts, herbs, and beaten eggs to vegetables, stirring to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste. Gently pack mixture into prepared baking pan. Bake until lightly browned, 20-25 minutes. Serve warm.

Chocolate Almond Walnut Brownie Cake

Serves 8-10

• Nonstick cooking spray
• 8 ounces dark chocolate
• ½ cup almond meal
• 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
• ¼ teaspoon baking powder
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• 1 cup Xylosweet
• 5 tablespoons coconut oil
• 4 large eggs
• 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
• 1 cup chopped walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
2. Spray an 8-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray.
3. Place dark chocolate in microwave-safe bowl and heat on high at 30 second intervals, stirring between intervals, until chocolate has melted and is smooth. Set aside.
4. In a medium bowl stir together almond meal, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.
5. In a separate bowl, using an electric mixer, beat Xylosweet and coconut oil until well combined.
6. Add eggs one at a time to Xylosweet mixture, beating well after each addition. Continue beating until mixture has turned pale and creamy, about 5 minutes.
7. Beat in melted chocolate and vanilla until just blended.
8. Fold in dry ingredients and walnuts.
9. Pour into prepared springform pan and bake until cooked through, about 35 minutes. Let cool before cutting.

Sweet Potato Pie

(From The Healthy Apple)
Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 1 hour
Total time: 1 hour 15 mins
Serves: 12

• 4 large sweet potatoes, cooked, peeled and cooled
• 4 Tbsp. Earth Balance Vegan Butter Sticks, softened
• ¾ cup brown sugar
• 2 tsp. honey
• 2 eggs, beaten
• 1 tsp. Simply Organic Cinnamon
• ½ tsp. Simply Organic Nutmeg
• ½ tsp. sea salt
• ⅛ tsp. Simply Organic All-Spice
• ¼ cup dairy-free milk such as So Delicious
• 1 tsp. Simply Organic Almond Extract
• 1 9 inch gluten-free pie shell

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. In a large bowl, beat sweet potato flesh and butter until creamy. Stir in remaining filling ingredients; mix until smooth.
3. Transfer mixture into prepare pie shell.
4. Bake for 45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Set aside for 15 minutes before serving.
Serving size: 1 slice Calories: 200 cal • Fat: 6.2 g • Protein: 3 g • Carb: 38.7 g • Fiber: 2.8 g • Sugar: 26.1 g • Sodium: 237 mg

Have a wonderful Christmas!
Mariel and Bobby

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