Recipe: Vital Health Gummies

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If you're like me & loved those childhood gummy bears, but just can't endure the stomach ache these days... try this recipe for a super healthy version!

What you need:
1 cup 100% juice (like pomegranate, cranberry, or orange)
3 drops doTERRA Citrus Essential Oil (I like to use Lime, Wild Orange, &/or Tangerine)
1T Xylitol (or 1T raw, good quality honey)
3-4T Beef Gelatin (I like to use Vital Proteins brand)
flexible silicone molds

Benefits of Gelatin:
- Promotes healthy hair, skin, nails
- Keeps bones & joints healthy
- Supportive for the immune, digestive, & central nervous systems

What to do:
In a saucepan, heat the juice over medium heat until hot, but not boiling. Lower the heat & stir in the xylitol (or honey) until dissolved.

Whisk in gelatin slowly 1T at a time so it doesn't get clumpy & keep stirring until the gelatin is fully dissolved. Once you have no lumps, remove from heat and carefully transfer the liquid into your gummy molds.

Tips: Use flexible molds so you can pop out the shapes easily later. I like to put the molds on a baking sheet to make it easy to move into the fridge. And I usually use a measuring cup with a spout so I don't spill everywhere. Don't worry about being perfect, you can also run the backside of a knife along the mold to evenly distribute into each shape.

Refrigerate until firm (30min to 1hour), then pop out & enjoy!

Store in the fridge in an airtight container. They will melt in high temps.

Makes about 50 gummies
1 hour

(Recipe inspired from The Whole Daily).

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    Recipe: Burcha Superfood Pancakes

    If you follow me on Instagram, you KNOW how much I love my Burcha & that I've been using it in everything from smoothies to oatmeal to pancakes. I love how many ways I can incorporate this superfood blend of nuts & seeds.

    What is Burcha? It was originally invented by a man named Maximilian Oskar Bircher Benny. He was a nutritionist & health pioneer in 1879. It was through blogger Loni Jane that I found her riff on his recipe & herein lies, my riff on that. 

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    Shredded Unsweetened Coconut
    Sunflower Seeds
    Sesame Seeds
    Hemp Hearts
    Pepitas (Pumpkin Seeds)
    Flax Seeds
    Chia Seeds

    Add about equal parts of each into a large glass jar & give it a shake.

    Why Burcha? Digestion, energy, mood, protein, stay fuller longer, vitamins, nutrients, brain health, heart health, & more.

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    What you need: 
    1/3 Cup Burcha Mix (see above)
    1/3 Cup Gluten Free Quick Oats
    2 Organic Eggs
    1 ripe Banana
    Dash of pure Vanilla Extract
    Few dashes of Cinnamon or 2 drops doTERRA Cinnamon Essential Oil
    Non-dairy milk (like Coconut Milk or Almond Milk) if it looks like it needs to thin out a bit
    Organic Grassfed Butter or Coconut Oil
    Maple Syrup (optional)

    What to do:
    Heat up a pan on the stovetop, mix & smash all ingredients together, add butter or coconut oil to the pan & cook like pancakes! Then drizzle maple syrup on top, if you like.

    Tip: I like to keep my oven on 200 degrees so as the pancakes are ready, I can pop them in the oven to stay warm. You can even under cook the first few slightly so they can finish cooking in the oven :)

    Burcha Mix can be added to oatmeal, smoothies, overnight 'oats', you name it! I plan to keep on expermienting.

    Makes about 5 small pancakes, Serves 1
    20 minutes

    Recipe: My Morning Hot Cacao

    If you follow me on Instagram, you know I loooooove my morning Hot Cacao drink. I've never been one to drink coffee (can't handle the caffeine) but I do like the feeling of a hot morning drink that gets me focused & energized.

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    First I'll begin by saying that COCOA & CACAO are not the same. Both are chocolate, yes, but cocoa is the result of pure cacao being highly heated, processed, & with sugar added. This creates the chocolatey sugary powder most people are used to when making say, a hot chocolate.

    Cacao on the other hand, is the raw, pure form of the cacao bean that has been ground down into a powder, but not heated. And no sugar has been added. This allows for all of the wonderful superfood health benefits to be intact & useful to our bodies. It contains about the same amount of caffeine as a decaf cup of coffee (however cacao from different brands & different countries, can vary).

    Similar to other natural health products (like Essential Oils), not all are created with equal quality, purity, or integrity. The brand of Cacao I love is One World Cacao. This cacao is sourced sustainably & ethically direct from farmers in Guatemala & owned by a friend of mine in Newport, RI who has been in the cacao industry for a decade. (Hot tip: if you’re a local you can select local pick-up when you order online & grab it from her commercial kitchen + Use my code MEREDITH10 for 10% off your order at

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    Why Cacao? What are the health benefits? Here's a few:

    Increases focus & energy
    Improves memory
    Creativity inducer
    Curbs appetite
    Increases Metabolism
    Highest natural plant source of: Magnesium, Iron, Sulfur, Antioxidants (40x that of blueberries)
    Eats plaque & phlegm from organs
    Beneficial for the digestive & cardiovascular systems as well as brain & cognitive function
    Activates & opens the crown & heart chakras

    Basically, it's amazing. And I've heard it’s great for those trying to get off coffee. Can't say from experience, but worth a try.

    So let's get to the recipe, shall we?

    What you need: 
    1C - 1.5C Hot Water (I like it more thin so I do 1.5C)
    Small Handful Raw, Unsalted Cashews (optional - for smooth, frothy latte type texture)
    1oz. Ceremonial Grade Cacao from One World Cacao (use code MEREDITH10 for 10% off)
    1T Unrefined Coconut Oil
    1T Coconut Butter (not the same as “cocoa butter”)
    1T Honey (raw, local, or good quality)
    1 drop doTERRA Cinnamon Essential Oil

    Optional add-ons:
    Other doTERRA Essential Oils like Peppermint or Cardamom. 1 drop per serving is all you need!

    Vital Proteins Collagen Powder (for protein, gut health, hair, skin, nails, joints, etc)

    Spices like Cinnamon, Turmeric, or Cayenne

    Superfood powders & herbs like Maca, Tocos, Reishi, Ashwaganda, whatever you like or have in the pantry. I like the brand Moon Juice. I’ve even added their Pea Protein Powder to it.

    What to do:
    If you're adding cashews (helps create the creamy, latte texture) you can pre-soak the cashews or let them soak in the hot water in the blender for a few minutes while you grab everything else. If you don't have time or remember though, that's okay too. 

    Add water, cashews, cacao & all other ingredients into a high-powered blender like a Vitamix. Blend & pour into your favorite jar or mug & enjoy!

    makes 1 drink
    5 minutes

    Recipe: Coconut-Lemon Bliss Bites

    I've been meaning to, & have promised to many, that I would post about these little yummy, healthy bites... so here it is! A perfect post-exercise or travel snack. Great to have on hand to keep from getting HANGRY.

    What you need: 
    1C cashews (raw)
    8 medjool dates (pitted)
    1C shredded coconut (unsweetened)
    1/2t good vanilla extract
    1T honey or maple syrup (optional; again, the good stuff!)
    pinch himalayan sea salt
    3-4 drops lemon certified pure therapeutic grade essential oil (what is this?)
    1-2T warm water
    food processor

    What to do:
    Blend cashews & dates in a food processor until integrated.

    Add half the coconut (reserve the rest for later), vanilla, sea salt, honey/maple syrup, lemon certified pure therapeutic grade essential oil , blend again. Add 1T at a time of warm water until mixture starts coming together enough to form.

    Lightly wet hands & roll into bite-sized balls to your desired size. Then roll in the remaining coconut. Place on a plate or baking sheet. Once all done, put the sheet into the freezer for at least 30mins before eating.

    Want to learn more about Essential Oils? Click here for the basics & some of my favorite ways to use 'em.

    makes 15-20 pieces
    40 minutes

    Recipe: Grilled Panzanella Salad

    I'm always looking for another excuse to use my grill when it starts getting nice outside & for a new grill-able food item that I haven't yet tried (like my Super Easy Grilled Romaine Salad from a couple summers ago).

    This Panzanella Salad is the perfect combo of fresh, simple & summery. No frills, but for some reason feels kinda fancy. So here's how it goes...

    What you need: 
    For the grill

    2 bell peppers of any color
    2 medium heirloom tomatoes
    1 purple onion
    1 small loaf sourdough bread

    For the dressing
    1/2 lemon, juiced
    1/2C good extra virgin olive oil
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    1/2t dijon mustard
    2T champagne or apple cider vinegar

    In the salad
    1/2 english cucumber
    10 leaves fresh basil

    What to do:
    Cut the grilling veggies in big pieces (best: tomatoes in half, peppers in quarters, onion in 4 or so rings & keep them together).

    Cut the sourdough loaf into oversized "crouton" cubes.

    Put veggies in a bowl with some EVOO & S&P. Sprinkle some EVOO on both sides of the "croutons."

    Turn on the grill to a medium heat.

    In a big measuring cup add the dressing ingredients & whisk, set aside.

    Thinly slice the cucumber, julienne the basil leaves, & add to the salad bowl with S&P.

    Grill the grilling veggies & "croutons," let them get a little charred. You'll want to take the tomatoes off well before everything else. Keeping the onions in ring formation will help from them slipping down into the grill.

    Take everything off the grill & add into salad bowl. Don't worry if the tomatoes have more or less fallen apart, that's when they really taste good. Drizzle some of the dressing on top, toss, & enjoy!

    Serves 2
    40 minutes