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Allergen-free, Gluten-free Delicious Holiday Treats

When a reporter from Global News contacted me about being interviewed on healthy holiday hosting, I was joyous to contribute some recipes and expertise!Why?
Dec 16, 2014 | Joy McCarthy

When a reporter from Global News contacted me about being interviewed on healthy holiday hosting, I was joyous to contribute some recipes and expertise!

Why? I can personally relate to the challenge of being a hostess or attending a party where you need to consider dietary restrictions and allergies. It can seem overwhelming at first whether you are the person with the food restrictions or the one trying to cater to another.

This is why I create recipes that are delicious and free of the usual suspects like gluten, dairy and refined sugar. If you need to make "nut-free" options too, you can easily swap in seeds in place of nuts in any of my recipes.

Even if you don't need to consider this for yourself, when you are having guests over it's always a good idea to ask if there are any dietary restrictions or allergies to be a thoughtful host.

Here are the recipes I shared on Global:

Sweet Potato Smoothie Shooter

These can be served in a shot glass or a dessert wine glass like in the photo. You could easily omit the protein powder in the recipe to make it lighter. This is sweet from the banana, spices and sweet potato, not savoury. That being said, it's not a dessert. Be sure to sprinkle it with cinnamon because it looks so pretty! Plus cinnamon is very blood sugar balancing.

Recipe can be found here.

Pesto on Mary's Brown Rice Crackers

This dairy-free pesto is incredibly versatile and adds a healthy tasty kick to any cracker. Topping it with red pepper gives it a nice touch of colour, especially for the holiday season! This recipe can be found in here.  If you have leftover pesto, mix it with your favourite olive oil and drizzle it over salad or quinoa pasta. It is superbly delicious!

Carrot Cake Balls

No party would be complete without my carrot cake balls. I think I've made this recipe at least 100 times and I never get tired of it because there are so many ways to modify the recipe if you are getting bored of the original. To make the balls more "meaty" I often add a plant-based protein powder. You can watch the recipe video here.

Superfood Chocolate Bark

You may recall seeing this recipe on my segment that aired on Steven and Chris last month. Here is the recipe:


1/3 cup coconut oil

1/2 cup raw cacao powder

1/4 cup maple syrup

2 tbsp goji berries

1 tbsp chia seeds

1 tbsp hemp seeds


On medium heat, melt coconut oil in a small saucepan. Slowly stir in raw cacao powder and maple syrup. When fully combined remove from heat and let cool slightly.Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and pour chocolate mixture onto sheet. Sprinkle top with goji berries, chia and hemp seeds and refrigerate for four hours.Break into pieces (they don't have to be perfect) and enjoy!

Dec 16, 2014 BY Joy McCarthy
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