Vegan Goji Berry & Mixed Nut Energy Balls
Vegan Goji Berry & Mixed Nut Energy Balls

Vegan Goji Berry & Mixed Nut Energy Balls

Our family adores energy balls and we create new ones each week with various ingredients: dried fruit, nuts, chocolate, coconut, Medjool dates, nut/seed butter and more!

The boys have fallen head over heels in love with Goji Berries and so I decided to create an energy ball with these little miracle workers. Goji berries have a very long history in Ancient China and have been used for eye, liver and kidney issues.

They are a great source of Vitamin C, Iron, and Fiber and contain all 8 essential amino acids!!
Vegan Goji Berry & Mixed Nut Energy Ball

I decided to add as many goodies as possible to these energy balls: Dates, Almonds, Cashews, Chocolate, and Coconut!

Further Benefits of Goji Berries

Goji Berries

  • Just one ounce of these berries will fulfill 10% of your daily protein requirements!
  • The high amount of vitamin C is great to boost your immune system and protect you and your little ones from the flu.
  • These berries can aid in weight loss. The sweet and yummy taste (plus the added fiber) can help you to have an easier transition from processed sugar to whole foods. Our family LOVES to snack on these!
  • Goji berries contain a special antioxidant called zeaxanthin (this antioxidant gives them their beautiful and bright color). Antioxidants protect cells against breaking down when they’re exposed to elements such as smoke and radiation.
  • Goji berries are fantastic for lowering blood sugar and avoiding sugar crashes. They can also improve sugar tolerance if you slowly substitute these for the processed sugar snacks!
So now that we have talked about this amazing superfood, let’s get to blending and rolling these amazing Vegan Goji Berry & Mixed Nut Energy Balls!
Vegan Goji Berry & Mixed Nut Energy Ball

Let the Food Processor do all of the work! Just keep processing until a dough ball like this forms 🙂

Vegan Goji Berry Energy Balls

Vegan Goji Berry and Mixed Nut Energy Balls

These are a must try energizing bite to add to your family's weekly meal plans! Great for the kids lunch boxes or an afternoon pick me up!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: beginner friendly, energy ball, kid friendly
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 70.15kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 cup medjool dates *Packed with seeds removed
  • 2 tbsp almonds
  • 2 tbsp cashews
  • 1.5 tbsp goji berries
  • 1 tbsp vegan chocolate chips
  • 1 tbsp cacao nibs

Instructions

  • Start by removing the seeds from the medjool dates and adding to the food processor. Follow this by tossing in all of the remaining ingredients.
    vegan goji berry bites
  • Turn the food processor on and allow it to do all the work for you. If you need to stop to scrape down the sides, go right ahead. Continue to food process the mixture until a dough like ball is formed.
    Vegan Goji Berry & Mixed Nut Energy Ball
  • Once the dough is formed, remove from procesor and take either a 1 tsp or 1 tbsp (depending on the size you want) amount and roll into balls. You can leave as is or you can roll in some coconut shreds as shown. The balls will be quite sticky so I do recommend rollling them in some sort of a powder/shreds. Feel free to use cacao powder, coconut shreds, pulsed nuts, powdered sugar or whatever else you want!
    Vegan Goji Berry Energy Balls
  • Store in the refrigerator to set and also to keep for the week. I like to keep mine stored in an airtight glass container. These are fantastic for snack lunch boxes, mid-afternooon pick me ups or even as a quick out the door energy boost!

Notes

**Can sub out any nuts for seeds.
**Can sub goji berries for any dried fruit you have on hand. 

Nutrition

Calories: 70.15kcal | Carbohydrates: 11.84g | Protein: 1.14g | Fat: 2.8g | Saturated Fat: 0.95g | Sodium: 0.34mg | Potassium: 108.01mg | Fiber: 1.34g | Sugar: 9.62g | Vitamin A: 18.25IU | Calcium: 15.87mg | Iron: 0.48mg
Vegan Goji Berry & Mixed Nut Energy Ball

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Homemade Vegan Chimichurri Sauce
Vegan Avocado and Parsley Chimichurri Sauce

Vegan Avocado and Parsley Chimichurri Sauce

To be honest, I do not know what I love most about this refreshing and delicious Vegan Avocado and Parsley Chimichurri Recipe; the color, the taste or the versatility! Martin and I were juicing some parsley and celery the other day and I had the sudden urge to recreate this sauce. I haven’t had the pleasure of devouring my grandmother’s homemade  (super oil-packed but delicious all the same) Chimichurri recipe in YEARS and I just had to have it right at that moment!

I grabbed a few avocados, a handful of parsley and got to work.

We tested out about 4 different recipe varieties before settling on this one but I have to tell ya, EVERY single one was delicious! While the taste is on the lighter side of the traditional chimichurri sauce, it was just divine. There is no way that anyone can mess up this sauce. I highly recommend having fun with it and adding anything that you would like. Maybe next week I will add in some spinach, broccoli or even hot peppers!

For reference, the traditional chimichurri recipe is as follows: 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup parsley, 3 tbsp red wine vinegar, 4 garlic cloves, 2 tbsp oregano, 2 tsp crushed pepper, and sea salt/pepper. 

Vegan Chimichurri Sauce

The color of this Vegan Avocado and Parsley Chimichurri Sauce is gorgeous!!!

Benefits of Avocado and Parsley

Avocados

  • While most fruits are high in carbohydrates, avocados are high in wonderful healthy fats!
  • Avocados are very nutritious and contain a wide variety of nutrients, including 20 different vitamins and minerals.
  • High in Vitamin K, Folate, Vitamin C, Potassium, Vitamin B5 & B6, and Vitamin E!
  • Contain more potassium than bananas!
  • Avocados tend to be rich in fiber — about 7% by weight, which is very high compared to most other foods. Fiber may have important benefits for weight loss and metabolic health.

Parsley

  • EXCELLENT source of Vitamin C.
  • Parsley is a nutritional powerhouse with vitamins A, B, C and K and the minerals iron and potassium.
  • Fantastic to kill bloat and reduce water weight.
  • It’s a natural diuretic, which helps to eliminate excess fluid without depleting the body of potassium.
  • Aids in balancing blood sugar, helping with long-term weight balance. It also plays a key role in preventing the degenerative effects of diabetes on the liver.

So now that we have talked about some of our amazing ingredients, let’s get blending!

Homemade Vegan Chimichurri Sauce

Homemade Vegan Chimichurri Sauce with Avocado and Parsley

This is one of our favorite sauces to add to any taco bowl, simple salad or to use as a dip for our yummy tortilla chips!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Sauce
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: easy, easy vegan pasta, Healthy, quick
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 61kcal

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley
  • 4 tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 ripe avocadoes
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 6-8 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4-1/2 cup water
  • sea salt & pepper, to desired taste

Instructions

  • Prep parsley and mince garlic.
  • Add all ingredients to blender and blend until smooth. Taste test and adjust.
  • Play around with the sea salt and pepper until it is just right. Add a pinch of crushed red peper if you wish!
  • Store in an airtight mason jar in the refrigerator for up to 1 week!

Nutrition

Calories: 61kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 103mg | Potassium: 200mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 515IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 1mg

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Broccoli and Mashed Butternut Squash Buddha Bowl
Vegan Broccoli and Butternut Squash Buddha Bowl

Vegan Broccoli and Butternut Squash Buddha Bowl with Lemon Tahini Dressing

It’s been a serious minute since we roasted some delicious broccoli florets in this house and we need to fix that! About three months ago, I went on a broccoli crazy shopping spree at the market and came home with 10 huge heads of the most gorgeous greens. I chopped them, froze them on a baking sheet and then transferred them into 4 large silicone bags (because screw plastic) to use later in the week……

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Homemade Vegetable Packed Pasta Sauce
Homemade Vegetable-Packed Pasta Sauce: Two Ways!

My Favorite Homemade Vegetable-Packed Pasta Sauce that I make…

Every Single Week (x2)!

This is it: this is the recipe that will save your butt in a jiffy. I think the best thing about this recipe is that you can substitute AS MUCH as you wish. You can use absolutely any variety of vegetables, fresh or frozen, in this recipe. As long as it blends, you can add it.

Each and every week our family tries out a brand new recipe version of this basic recipe. Some of our favorite vegetable swaps include:

  • Zucchini
  • Eggplant
  • Mushrooms
  • Broccoli
  • Bell Peppers
  • Sun-dried tomatoes

And, while we are on the subject of substituting, I also love to add in the following on any given day:

  • Hemp seeds
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Pecans
  • Cashews
  • Pepita seeds

While I urge you to have as much fun with this as possible, I also encourage you to try to stick to the ingredient amounts for best taste. If you substitute the cauliflower for broccoli or zucchini, I advise you to stick with the 1 cup amount. The same goes for the seeds and nuts.

If you are a big spice lover like me, get crazy and add in 2 jalapeno peppers if you wish!

Homemade Vegetable Packed Pasta Sauce

If it blends, you can toss it into this homemade vegetable-packed pasta sauce recipe!

P.s. I highly recommend this Food Processor as I am a bit in love with it at the moment (and for the next 15 years).

Benefits of This Sauce

  • Easily allows you and your children to reach the recommended daily amounts of vegetables by blending! It’s like a smoothie in a pasta dish (in all the good ways – I promise).
  • Picky Eater Approved! I have yet to meet a child who does not love a blended pasta sauce. Even better if you let the child participate in the creating of this magical sauce. Let them toss in the veggies and the ingredients! (FYI: You can also turn this into a soup with just 2 cups of vegetable broth).
  • Turns a simple Pasta dinner into the most nutritionally packed dinner of the week: There is almost no way that any other meal can beat this one once you have added all of the amazing ingredients. Feel free to add any extras like…
    • Turmeric
    • Moringa
    • Rosemary
    • Kale
  • Allows even the most hectic and stressful day to become a nutritionally conscious one. Parenting is HARD. Heck…just living is hard sometimes. I promise that this meal will check off all of your boxes and allow dinner to come together in under 10 minutes.
  • Budget-friendly: This is about as budget-friendly as you want it to be. Some pasta sauce, a can of beans, random veggies (on sale perhaps?) and some spaghetti? It’s a winner!

Homemade Vegetable Packed Pasta Sauce

Kid-Approved Veggie Packed Pasta Sauce

This is one of my sons absolute favorite versions of this homemade sauce!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: how to, Main Course, Sauce
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: easy, Easy Pasta, homemade nut butter, quick
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 49kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 30 oz Jar Pasta Sauce
  • 1 can cannelini beans
  • 1 cup cauliflower
  • 1 cup spinach loosely packed
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 small bunch fresh basil
  • Any additonal seasoning that you wish to add

Instructions

  • Add all ingredients to food processor and process until well blended.
  • Cook pasta according to package direction.
  • Once pasta has finished cooking, drain well and then mix with homemade pasta sauce. Enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 49kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 125mg | Potassium: 86mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 404IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 1mg
Homemade Vegetable Packed Pasta Sauce

Spicy Veggie Packed Pasta Sauce

While my children love the mild version of this sauce, I am all about the spice!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: how to, Main Course, Sauce
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: easy, Easy Pasta, quick, spicy
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 119kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 30 oz Jar Pasta Sauce
  • 1 can cannelini beans
  • 1 cup spinach packed
  • 3/4 cups walnuts (any nut/seed will do)
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 bunch fresh basil
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeds removed If sensitive to spicy foods, use a small amount of jalapeno at a time
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 pinch sea salt and black pepper

Instructions

  • Add all ingredients to food processor and process until well blended.
  • Cook pasta according to package direction.
  • Once pasta has finished cooking, drain well and then mix with homemade pasta sauce. Enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 119kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 122mg | Potassium: 97mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 404IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 2mg

p.s. If you dig this recipe, try out these other hits!

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Vegan Meal Prep: Tacos, Salsa and More!

We have a Quick Vegan Meal Prep for you all today on the blog!There is nothing better than batch cooking in my opinion, and with that, there’s nothing better than knocking out batch cooking in the same amount of time that it would take you to create ONE meal. Today I give you all,

Three Vegan Meals in One! 

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