Sunday, April 14, 2013

Working together to end human trafficking

On Saturday (yesterday) morning I was privileged to be a part of a wonderful charity eventPictured above is the lovely Johanna, owner and founder of JQ Fitness.  Johanna, her husband Jeff and their team at I Luv This Bootcamp have been working around the clock to make yesterday's event a reality.  All proceeds from this charity boot camp were donated to Free-them which is an organization working towards a goal to end human trafficking/slavery.
I decided that rather than paying to participate in the boot camp portion of the day, I would like to do a little more to help out.  I approached Johanna a couple of months ago and asked if I could provide some healthy baked goods for the participants to enjoy before and after their workout.  She accepted my offer, so over the next few weeks I made some treats and had the members of our kickboxing and stability ball classes (taught by Johanna) give me some feedback.  I'm happy to say that the comments were all positive and everyone seemed to enjoy being my lab rats :)  So for the past week, I've been baking and dehydrating my heart out to provide plenty of goodies to help fuel and replenish the participants of the event.  The day went off without a hitch (as far as I know) and was a great success.  Lots of money was raised for this wonderful cause and a whole lot of fun was had doing so.  I'm very happy to say that I got more compliments than I could ever have dreamed of and countless requests for recipes.  So, I promised I'd get working on a blog post about the event and that I would share the recipes for what I baked and dehydrated.  

So here goes...

This is the table covered in swag bags that greeted participants to the event...


And here's a peek at what was inside those bags...

    Among the contents was One Coconut Water, Awake caffeinated chocolate, a $30 gift card towards boot camp classes and many other goodies.

This is the kitchen area where Perry and I unloaded all my containers of treats onto platters and plates to be enjoyed by the participants...


And here are the plates and platters of aforementioned treats... 

 Pepsi Co. provided cases and cases of drinks such as One Coconut Water, Aquafina bottled water, Gatorade and Gatorade Pre-game Fuel

And Starbucks provided hot beverages...


This is naturopath Dr. Jason Lee giving a wonderful talk about health and its relation to what we put into our bodies...


The fitness activities started with a 'killer' group challenge.  Johanna's husband Jeff put together an obstacle course with burpees and pushups and all sorts of other forms or torture.  Here's a quick video of one of the stations...


 Winners of the group challenge, the aptly named "Team Awesome" :)

Free-them gave a heart-breaking presentation about modern day slavery/human trafficking.  It shocked me to my core...

And here's Johanna leading the boot camp warmup...

 There were all kinds of stations with things like hip lifts and mountain climbers

And all sorts of other 'fun' exercises :)

And there was even a kiddie boot camp :) ....

 And just because they're adorable, here are Johanna and Jeff's sweet babies...

One of the boot camp participants provided chocolate gold medals for the kids :)

I can honestly say that I'm already excited about next year's event.  Perry said he wants us to participate in the team challenge!  I think we'd better start training next week :)

And now for the recipes as promised.  I have already blogged about the seed cookies here (but changed them slightly) and the oatmeal spice cookies here and unfortunately I don't have my own pics. of the other goodies (yet) except for the chocolate zucchini bread as I didn't even think of that.  However, I'll share all the recipes below and hopefully will get around to baking these items again so that I can show the step-by-step processes.  Not all of these recipes were invented by me, so I'll also share links to the originals.
Here goes...

Here is where I found the original recipe for the zucchini bread.  This is the recipe, including my changes.
  Chocolate Zucchini Bread

1 medium zucchini, shredded 
2 large organic, pastured eggs, whisked 
¾ cup almond butter 
⅓ cup organic raw honey 
¼ cup cocoa powder (you could use raw cacao) 
2 tablespoons coconut flour 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon 
½ teaspoon baking powder 
½ teaspoon baking soda 
1/2 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. 
Grate zucchini on the large holes of a cheese grater.  Lay paper towels on your kitchen counter, put zucchini on top and cover with more paper towels.  Press down to remove moisture and then put the zucchini into a large bowl.  Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until well-combined.
Line 2 small (3" x 5") loaf pans with parchment paper and bake for 35-40 minutes until the tops spring back when gently pressed.  Allow to sit for 5 minutes in the pans, then remove to a cooling rack until cooled through.

 My chocolate zucchini bread

And here is where I found the recipe for the Maple Flax Cookies.  Here's the recipe with my changes...
Maple Flax Cookies 

1/2 cup (60 g) whole rolled oats
1 Tbsp (15 ml) coconut oil, solid at room temperature
3 Tbsp (45 ml) pure maple syrup (look for B grade)
1 tsp (2.5 ml) pure vanilla extract
2 Tbsp (30 ml) finely ground flax seeds (don't buy already ground seeds...do this yourself in a spice or coffee grinder immediately before using)
3 Tbsp (45 ml) whole flax seeds
1/4 tsp (1 ml) baking soda
1/4 tsp (1 ml) baking powder
1/4 tsp (1 ml) Celtic sea salt

Preheat oven to 350F (180C).  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
In the bowl of a food processor, blend the oats until they resemble a coarse meal. 
Add the coconut oil, maple syrup and ground flax seeds.  Blend until combined well and smooth.  Set aside for at least 2 minutes.
Put all of this into a large bowl and add the rest of the ingredients.  Stir well.
Using a teaspoon-sized cookie scooper (or 2 teaspoons), drop the mixture onto cookie sheet about 2 inches (5 cm) apart.  Do not flatten the cookies as they will spread on their own.
Bake 10-13 minutes, until slighlty puffed and lightly browned.  Allow to cool completely before removing from sheet (they will firm up as they cool).  Makes 8-10 cookies.  May be frozen.

The little coconut balls are actually a raw recipe from Sarma the owner of Pure Food and Wine which is a restaurant we plan to visit one day.  
This recipe was e-mailed to me, so I don't have a link for it.  Hopefully mentioning the author here is giving enough credit!

Chocolate Coconut Balls

3 cups unsweetened, dried coconut
1 1/2 cups cocoa powder 
1 cup maple syrup (look for B grade)
1/2 cup coconut butter (this stuff)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon Celtic sea salt

Mix all ingredients together.  Using a teaspoon-sized cookie scooper, place mounds on the mesh trays of a dehydrator.  The original said to dehydrate for 12-24 hours at 115F.  I did it at 125F for about 4-6 hours and that was plenty.  I'm sure you could do these on cookie sheets in the oven at its lowest setting with the door slightly ajar.  Because the lowest oven temp. is probably higher than 125F, it would most likely only take 3 hours or so.

Seed Cookies

1 1/2 cups whole rolled oats
1/2 cup raw honey
1/2 cup almond butter
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup raw cacao nibs
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1 teaspoon Celtic sea salt

Preheat oven to 350F.  In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together until well-combined.  Onto 2 parchment-lined cookie sheets, dollop mixture using a tablespoon-sized cookie scooper.  There's no need to leave space between cookies as they do not spread.  Bake for 16 minutes, rotating trays halfway through baking time.  Remove to wire cooling trays and enjoy.

Oatmeal Spice Cookies

1/4 cup gently melted virgin coconut oil
1/2 cup organic coconut palm sugar
1/3 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
1 large organic, pastured egg
2 cups whole rolled oats     
2 tablespoons chia seeds
2 teaspoons dried cinnamon
2 teaspoons dried ginger

Preheat oven to 350F.  In a large bowl, mix all ingredients until well-combined.  Dollop by teaspoonfuls onto  parchment-lined cookie sheets.    Bake for 15 minutes and then allow to cool on cookie sheets for a few minutes.  Remove to cooling trays to firm up.  


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