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@cocoxuan7 for WWB

Posted on December 24 2016

Hi loves!!!
So today we have a pretty exciting post from a close friend of mine, Jessica Xuan which is a Coryphée with the Dutch National Ballet, and is one of the most incredible and gifted individuals I know! Today Jess will share with us some speical recepies as she herself loves to cook :)
So without further ado, lets get down to it! And don't forget to follow her on @cocoxuan7, @alittlecocotime and her blog <3.

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Hello everyone! I am beyond excited to be writing a post that will be shared to the entire audience of the most amazing ballet platform, World Wide Ballet. I am so incredibly lucky to have been able to talk to one of the most inspiring young ladies in my opinion, Neta, also known as the one who has started WWB, about writing this post and when I told her about my new food and lifestyle blog she immediately came up with the idea for me to come up with a recipe exclusively for WWB.
So a little bit about myself. My name is Jessica Xuan, I prefer to go by Jess, or Coco. I am a professional ballet dancer with the Dutch National Ballet, and I have quite recently started a food/lifestyle blog called A Little Coco Time. On this blog I like to share the recipes that I love, and just little things from my daily life. I started ballet at the age of 11 after a school field trip to see the ballet "La Fille Mal Gardee"  and from there on I basically danced everywhere I went.

Recipe #1

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Today I wanted to share with everyone a few recipes that I make very often (on a weekly basis) as a pantry staple just to have on hand to make my work days a lot easier so that for example I don't have to wake up super early to prepare breakfast. One of the recipes is my all time favourite granola. This one is a Maple Coconut Pecan Granola. I used to love store bought granola, until I got addicted to it and realized just how much processed sugar and unknown ingredients there was. I remember I had this obsession with a chocolate granola that I bought very often in the grocery store, and that was basically all I ever wanted to eat. I soon began feeling very sluggish and tired all the time. And of course I was constantly hungry because I was starting off the day, aka the most important meal of the day with a highly processed junk food that I thought was a healthy option since it was "Granola". Now ever since eating a Plant Based diet it made me more aware of the ingredients in the foods I could choose from at the supermarket. For example this chocolate granola I obsessed over had more than 30 ingredients, and more than half of which I could not pronounce, let alone know what it was. This really scared me. I mean if I could barely pronounce the preservatives how was my body to digest and use these chemicals as energy? This basically started my madness in the kitchen.
As a ballet dancer, we are considered as athletes, and so the amount of nutrition in the foods that we eat and give to our muscles are super crucial especially since we are constantly depending on our bodies. The recipe I want to share with you all today contains around 10 ingredients, and are all quite easily assessable in our everyday grocery stores.
I find myself making a huge batch of this granola because I literally use this granola in everything. I love putting it on my yogurt in the mornings, or in my Açai Bowls. The recipe can be found on my blog. I also use this granola for my granola bar recipe which I will be sharing soon on my blog as well. Along with incorporating this granola into recipes, it is also a great little snack to bring along with you on a work day in a small container to snack on throughout the day.

Recipe #1

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Today I wanted to share with everyone a few recipes that I make very often (on a weekly basis) as a pantry staple just to have on hand to make my work days a lot easier so that for example I don't have to wake up super early to prepare breakfast. One of the recipes is my all time favourite granola. This one is a Maple Coconut Pecan Granola. I used to love store bought granola, until I got addicted to it and realized just how much processed sugar and unknown ingredients there was. I remember I had this obsession with a chocolate granola that I bought very often in the grocery store, and that was basically all I ever wanted to eat. I soon began feeling very sluggish and tired all the time. And of course I was constantly hungry because I was starting off the day, aka the most important meal of the day with a highly processed junk food that I thought was a healthy option since it was "Granola". Now ever since eating a Plant Based diet it made me more aware of the ingredients in the foods I could choose from at the supermarket. For example this chocolate granola I obsessed over had more than 30 ingredients, and more than half of which I could not pronounce, let alone know what it was. This really scared me. I mean if I could barely pronounce the preservatives how was my body to digest and use these chemicals as energy? This basically started my madness in the kitchen.

Ingredients:

  • 3 Cups Rolled Oats
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Palm Sugar
  • 1/2 Tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 Tsp Nutmeg
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1/4 Cup Pumpkin Seeds
  • 1 Cup Pecans
  • 1/2 Cup Almonds
  • 1/4 Cups Coconut Flakes
 

Wet Ingredients:

  • 4 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 4 Tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla Ext

How To:

Start by placing the Rolled Oats, Coconut Sugar, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Coconut Flakes, and Salt into a large bowl. Combine all ingredients.
Next in a food processor lightly chop the Pecans, Almonds, and Pumpkin seeds. You can do this by hand.
Place the Nuts you chopped up into the large mixing bowl and mix well.
Moving onto our Wet Ingredients. If the weather is warm the Coconut Oil will be melted, but in the colder months you do have to melt it yourself. (I like to measure out the Coconut Oil in a small bowl then I place some boiling water in a larger bowl and place the bowl with the oil into the water.) You can also just put it into a saucepan on low heat. I would not recommend the microwave since it will 
kill all the benefits of the coconut oil. 
Combine the Coconut Oil, the Maple Syrup, and Vanilla Extract.
Line a Large baking tray with parchment paper, and preheat the oven to 180 degrees/350 F. Then pour the Wet Ingredients into the bowl with all the Dry Ingredients and combine well.
Spread the mixture onto the lined baking tray and try to spread it out evenly. Try not to over crowd the tray. If there is too much granola mixture you can always bake a second batch after.
Once taken out of the oven, let it cool on a baking rack for 30 minutes, then transfer it into your favourite container.
I absolutely adore this granola and no wonder it has become a daily pantry staple for me, I use it in just about everything! I sometimes even use this granola as a base ingredient for other recipes. For example one of my all time favourite granola squares/bars, my Raw Chocolate Granola Squares are made with this granola. And on a daily basis I love using this Granola as a topping in one of my absolute favourite breakfasts... Açai Bowls... The recipe is up on my blog.

Recipe #2

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Now that I have shared this super easy recipe for the granola, I wanted to share another one of my all time must haves in my everyday routine as a dancer. So as you all might know being a professional ballet dancer requires long long hours at the company in rehearsals, and or performances, so therefore we need plenty of calories, which gives us energy to get through 10- 12 hour days. Now the quality of these calories are super important. Sure I could go and grab a sandwich or a bowl of pasta from the canteen, but right before stage or rehearsals I tend to have trouble eating and digesting full meals. Thats why I love experimenting and creating energy balls! Ok the name is a little silly but seriously these are little power snacks that are perfect when you need a boost of energy between rehearsals or during performances, and even between workouts! These little balls contain very few raw and natural ingredients that are packed with plant protein, and healthy fats that will help you stay energized.
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The one that I want to share with everyone today are, my Chocolate Brownie Energy Balls.
Seriously these little guys contain less than 10 ingredients, there is no baking required, and these will last for weeks in the fridge so they'll be ready for you to grab and go when your in a hurry. 
These little energy balls are made up of these 6 main ingredients... 

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Almonds
  • 1/4 Cup Cashews
  • 2 Tbsp Raw Cacao Powder
  • 2 Cups Dates
  • 1 Tbsp Maple Syrup 
  • 1 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Chia Seeds
  • 1 Tbsp Cacao Nibs
  • Pinch of Sea Salt 

How To:

  1. Place Almonds, and Cashews into a food processor and pulse together until a crumble forms.
  2. Add the Dates and process again.
  3. Add the Chia seeds, Cacao Powder, Cacao Nibs, Sea Salt, and process.
  4. Add Maple Syrup, and Coconut Oil.
  5. You will notice that the mixture will go from a crumbly consistency to more of a dough. Once the ingredients are all combined it should reach a dough like consistency in the processor.
  6. Finally just use a tablespoon or your hands to roll them into balls. 

These are so super simple to make, and I love the fact that I can make these ahead of time and all I have to do is just throw everything into the food processor and roll them out while catching up on some Netflix. These will last up to 3-4 weeks in the fridge in an airtight container, and way longer in the freezer but to be honest a batch of these balls never seem to last me more than 3-4 days. These taste just like a dessert, except they are completely raw, gluten free, vegan, and are the perfect pickmeup snacks to have on hand.
I really hope you all will give these two super simple recipes a try, it makes me so happy to be able to share something from my weekly routine with everyone. I would once again love to thank Neta for giving me this amazing opportunity to interact with everyone. If you would like more recipes make sure you go and give my foodstagram, and blog a follow. And if you guys want to see my dance posts and just things that are ongoing in my life check out my ballet account @cocoxuan7 on Instagram. I will post all recipes on the blog www.alittlecocotime.com. If you guys have any requests or questions please let me know! Until next time I send everyone lots of happiness and love.
xoxo
Coco

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