Five Pillars Yoga

Posts Tagged ‘Nutrition 101’

Creamy & Delicious Vegan Butternut Squash Soup

With cooling (okay let’s get real… FREEZING) weather trends, it is easy to spend time in the kitchen in front of the oven making warm soups and stews that nourish the body and soul. Taking time to make a healthy and satisfying soup or stew is a perfect way to stay healthy as colds and flus spread through our city like wildfire. One of my go-to faves is butternut squash soup with coconut milk. Super creamy and ridiculously flavorful, this soup warms the body to the core and leaves the pallet appreciating the burst of flavors with each new bite.




  • 2 medium butternut squash sliced in half with the seeds removed

  • 1 onion

  • 3 garlic cloves

  • 2 celery stalks

  • 1 – 2 apples

  • 1 – 2 tbs coconut oil or any high-heat cooking oil

  • 4 cups veggie broth

  • 1 can coconut milk

  • 1 tbs sage

  • ½ tsp cinnamon

  • ¼ tsp nutmeg

  • ¼ tsp black pepper

  • ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper

  • salt to taste

  • extra coconut cream, cilantro or parsley, roasted pumpkin seeds, and/or red pepper flakes to garnish




  • – Roast the butternut squash in the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for  approximately 45-60 minutes, until it turns golden brown. I like to use Pyrex glass dishes but you can also use cookie sheets with parchment paper. Either way, place the squash with the flesh side down. An optional step is to coat the squash in a small amount of olive oil (or other cooking oil)—this simply adds some extra flavor. 

  • – While the butternut is roasting, dice the onion, celery, and apples. Sauté them in the cooking oil until they are browned.

  • – Take the butternut out of the oven and set aside to cool. Once you can handle the squash, scoop the meat out into a blender. Puree the roasted butternut with the can of coconut milk. Set aside a little bit of the coconut milk for the garnish.

  • – Then, add veggie broth and the blended squash mixture to the soup. Add your seasoning and puree the soup with an immersion blender. If you do not have an immersion blender, wait until the soup cools and blend in a regular blender.

  • – Taste the soup and salt to your satisfaction. If the veggie broth is salty enough, you may not need to add any.

  • – Garnish with extra coconut cream, cilantro or parsley, seeds, and/or red pepper flakes.

Summer Bliss Balls 

Summer is finally in full-swing — days are long and often bustling with activity. Whether you are putting in full days at work (accruing vacation time of course) or hitting the trails and beaches for some summer fun, these Summer Bliss Balls are a perfect addition to your snack pack. Known to boost moods and prevent hanger (hungry + anger), this ideal summer snack will keep you healthy, happy and sated after yoga class or during any of your favorite summer activities.

A Delicious Energy-Bar Replacement
Good for you & good for the Earth!

It wasn’t long ago that the packaged foods industry discovered our need for energy bars — the perfect nutritious snack that can quickly boost vitality when we don’t have time to sit down for a full meal. Head into any grocery store, and you have your pick of hundreds of flavors and a variety of health-boosting superfood ingredients to meet your needs. Once you make these Bliss Balls, however, the appeal of packaged energy bars will fade. Exceptionally delicious, customizable (add your favorite superfoods and herbs), nutritious and free of single-use packaging, these healthy energy boosting treats will likely become a staple in your kitchen.

What makes these Summer Bliss Balls ah-maze-ing?

Ridiculously delicious for maximum enjoyment

High quality brain boosting fats

High protein for muscle recovery

High fiber for digestive support

Chalk full of antioxidants and fatty acids for cellular regeneration

Customizable and Easy to Make!

A perfect combination for long-lasting energy

Ready to get started?

*Makes approximately 40 bliss balls. Whoa 40!? They keep in the freezer and you will be surprised how quickly you go through these, especially if you have kids! If your food processor is on the small side or you are not sure how much you will love bliss balls, consider cutting the ingredients in this recipe in half.


  • – 14 oz or 1 jar coconut butter (can sub peanut butter or almond butter or add approx. 4 oz or 1/2 cup of each of your favorite nut butters for variation)
  • – 2 cups shredded coconut (1 cup goes into the mix plus an additional cup is needed for rolling the balls)
  • – 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • – 1/2 cup flax seeds
  • – 1 cup cacao nibs or dark chocolate chips
  • – 12 pitted medjool dates
  • – 4 tbs. coconut milk (or almond milk)
  • – 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • – Optional: 2 tsp. vanilla and/or cinnamon
  • – Additional variations: adaptogenic herbs, collagen peptides, protein powder, your favorite superfood, dried fruit (goji berries, currants, etc.)


  • – Warm up the coconut butter in a simmering hot water bath for approx. 10 minutes until coconut butter is creamy/liquid in texture.
  • – Place sunflower and flax seeds, dates, and 1 cup of shredded coconut into a food processor & pulse until ingredients are chopped without becoming too fine.
  • – Add coconut butter (or other nut butter + coconut/almond milk) and vanilla/cinnamon to the food processor. Blend until the ingredients are thoroughly mixed but not smooth.
  • – Add cacao nibs or chocolate chips at the very end and mix for 5-10 seconds.
  • – Pour dough into a big mixing bowl. Add the coconut or almond milk & liquified coconut oil and mix into the dough.
  • – Create 2-bite-sized balls (approx. 1″ x 1″) with the dough — roll each ball in shredded coconut.
  • – Place each ball onto a sheet pan with parchment paper. When the pan is full of bliss balls, place the sheet into the freezer. Transfer these summer treats to a freezer bag for storage once they are solid.
  • – Allow these delicacies to soften for 5-10 minutes before diving in. A perfect pairing with fresh summer strawberries and stone fruit!


  • – Want something a little sweeter? Add more dates!
  • – Transform these health nuggets into raw cookies: Sub chocolate chips for cacao nibs & add more dates.
  • – Looking for a protein boost? Add your favorite protein powder along with some additional coconut or almond milk.
  • – Play with flavors:
  • Sub raw oats for flax seeds and raisins for cacao nibs for oatmeal cookie bliss.
  • Replace coconut butter with peanut butter and sub cashews for the flax seeds for peanut butter cookie bliss.
  • Do you love peppermint? Add some peppermint extract and sub chocolate chips for cacao nibs to create your own peppermint patty bliss balls.