I've had to keep my holiday treats on the super DL (down low).

My best friend's husband contacted me a couple weeks ago saying that he needed some treats for his wife asap! She can't have any dairy because she is allergic (I always get her to try my homemade sweets that are made with organic, awesome ingredients. Oh! And they are made with tons of love so they are EXTRA awesome). He wanted me to make her a huge platter of goodies for her for Christmas. I thought that was so sweet of him so I said of course!

So I got to work and made treat after treat. It was hard not to blog about all my creations but since they picked up their goodies I can now post away. 

Today I am going to start with my HAZELNUT CHOCOLATES. These babies are seriously the best. I probably should have saved them for last but I couldn't resist. They are made from cocoa (cacao) butter, cacoa powder, unpasteurized honey, pure vanilla extract, coconut oil and hazelnut butter.

Coconut oil is a cheap substitute for cocoa butter but the finished product doesn't taste AS great.

Last year I tried to recreate Ferrero Rocher for my husband. Hazelnut is his favourite flavour and he used to eat Ferrero's every Christmas (and Turtles). So I was like, "No more refined sugar!! I am going to make you some." My first batch was a success and Tod and I fell in love with quality, wholesome, homemade chocolates.

This year, since the rolling and the layers take a while to make I decided to throw all the ingredients into a pan. Let them melt and pour them into chocolate molds, sprikle chopped toasted hazelnuts on top and then freeze them. And Voila. Hazelnut chocolates.

6 days until Christmas! I'm so excited for family time, drinking tea by the fire, playing games and having some relaxing time.

Hazelnut Chocolates
If you’re trying to stay away from refined sugar this holiday season then this is the perfect treat to satisfy your sweet tooth and calm your craving.

Makes 12 cups or 20 chocolates

·          1/4 cup raw hazelnuts, toasted

·         1/2 cup cacao (cocoa) butter
·         1 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted
·         1/2 cup hazelnut butter
·         1/2 cup cacao powder
·         1/4 cup unpasteurized honey
·         2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350° F(175° C). Add whole hazelnuts to a cookie sheet. Bake in the oven for 4-5 minutes, until the skins are cracked. Stir at 2 minutes. As soon as you smell them they are done. Let cool. Roll hazelnuts between your hands so the skins fall off. Chop skinless hazelnuts and place in a bowl. Set aside.

2. Add cacao butter to a large frying pan and heat on the lowest heat. Add coconut oil. Let the two ingredients melt.

3. Add hazelnut butter, cacao powder, unpasteurized honey, and vanilla extract and stir well until fully incorporated. Pour liquid into parchment muffin cups or chocolate molds. Freeze or refrigerate for 1 hour. Add to a freezer safe bag or air tight container to store. I like to keep mine in the freezer.


I have been searching high and low for an awesome honey graham cracker! I FINALLY FOUND ONE CLOSE ENOUGH! And then slightly modified it to be exactly what I wanted. Like I always do.

I've been so nervous the past month. You may or may not have noticed but I haven't been blogging as much as I used to. Before I was posting two recipes a week and now I think my last post was…. about 2 weeks ago. And I have an excuse.

I've been working hard at home with potty training Kyri, getting ready for the holidays and I've been working hard, during my spare time, on my health book that I've been working on since February. I’m finally getting it published (Self-published that is, but nevertheless it will be in book format and I am absolutely over the moon excited)!

Gosh I've been dreaming about this moment all year and now it's finally here. I received my proof in the mail last week. Well actually I wasn't home when the delivery man brought it to the house. I was downtown at a kitchen store looking for Christmas baking cups and when I got home the letter said I had missed them by 5 minutes! So the next day I raced to the post office, which is a bloody gong show at this time of year, and I waited in line for what seemed to be a life time. There were people delivering boxes bigger than me (exaggerating). While I was waiting I was thinking This is one of one of the big moments of my lifetime. One of those moments that I will never forget. I've been waiting for this for 11 months and now it's finally here. So I soaked up the feeling of pure joy for as long as I could, until I reached the counter and I gave the lady my slip. But then she couldn’t' find the package and I was getting a bit worried. Then finally she scanned it and said, "Oh it's in the bin. How silly of me. Of course it's there!" While I was thinking OMG LADY YOU’RE KILLING ME... then she handed me the package, got to me sign my name and I ran out of the way. I ran down the parking lot to a restaurant where my family was waiting for me. I sat down and tore open the package. I was like Omg it's much thicker than I thought it would be! The layout was great, the recipes looked delicious and my heart was racing like I ran a 10K. Everyone said they loved it and couldn’t wait to have a copy in their kitchen at home. I’ve posted on Facebook that I am taking orders so if anyone would like a copy, please click like on my page MANDY’S TIPS FOR EVERYDAY HEALTH and scroll down a couple posts to my book status and let me know if you would like to order one.

Follow me on Instagram @MandyDugas19

Since then I have been making corrections like a mad woman, adding ideas, changing words, and fixing small errors (and I apologize if there are more that I didn't catch).

So now I've finished my second editing faze and the pdf. of my second copy has been sent and I am feeling really good about it all.

I have added this recipe to my cookbook and hope that you all love it, just in time for the holidays.

Honey Graham Crackers
This awesome cracker recipe has been modified from the ‘oh she glows’ recipe Graham Crackers by Angela Liddon. They are delicious. Blend 3-5 crackers and add them to raw crusts!

Makes 22 cookies

·         3 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted
·         2 Tbsp. blackstrap molasses
·         2 Tbsp. coconut milk beverage or homemade almond milk
·         2 Tbsp. unpasteurized honey
·         1/2 Tbsp. chia seeds

·         3/4 almond flour
·         1/2 cup raw buckwheat grouts, ground into a flour and sift
·         1 cup oat flour
·         5 Tbsp. arrowroot powder
·         2 Tbsp. coconut sugar
·         2 tsp. ground cinnamon
·         1/4 tsp. celtic sea salt, ground
·         1/2 tsp. baking soda
·         1/8 tsp. ginger powder
·         1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg

1. Preheat oven to 350° F (175° C). In a large pan on low heat melt coconut oil. Add chia seeds to a high speed blender and blend until it turns into a flour consistency. Pour into the pan and add wet ingredients. Stir.

2. Add buckwheat grouts to a high speed blender and blend until it turns into a flour consistency. Sift into a large bowl. Discard large pieces. Add remaining dry ingredients. Stir well. Add wet ingredients and stir for 1 minute until there are no dry patches.
3. Roll dough into 3 balls. Rip off a large square pieces of parchment paper and place it on the counter as your working surface. Place one ball of dough in the middle of the parchment paper. Rip a large square piece of saran wrap and place it over the ball of dough. Now roll the dough so it is 3mm thin. Use a knife or cookie cutter to cut out as many cookies and possible. Add cookies to a large baking sheet, leaving ½ inch between them. Continue to roll dough and cut.

4. Bake cookies for 8 minutes. Take out tray and gently flip cookies. Bake again for another 6 minutes. Place on a cooking rack to cool for 20 minutes before serving or grounding into crumbs for crust recipes. Store in an air tight container.


Are you looking forward to the holidays? Getting together with family, eating TONS of delicious food, and laughing while playing silly board games. Then stuffing yourself silly on tons of sweets, chocolates and desserts.

Sitting by the fire and listening to stories from the year is one of my favourite parts. I love seeing my family happy. Seeing them smile, laugh, and talk about their passions. It's so great being a part of a big family.

Then after we get to make a new years resolution...and what shall it be this year? To quit smoking? To drink drinking? To eat vegan for 1 month? To kick out all refined sugar or to go on a clean green diet? To work out more? To be more positive? To stop and smell the roses more often?

These were ALL of my resolutions that I made every year...until I decided to keep my promise to myself and ACTUALLY change!

And now that my life is FINALLY where I want it to be I can stop and smell the roses. AND I want to get busy in the kitchen to create new healthy desserts that will please everyone's sweet tooth. I believe that eating foods with quality ingredients will help keep my body thriving rather then knock it down each holiday season. I make desserts and treats without refined sugar, gluten, and dairy. And surprisingly they taste absolutely delicious!

I am coming out with a cookbook this holiday season. And I am hoping that my story, recipes and health knowledge can inpsire someone to make a healthy change.

Here, I give you 10 desserts and treats to make over the holiday season to please your friends and family. And they will wake up the next morning without a sugar hang over!


10. Chocolate Cream Pie with an Almond Oat Crust

9. Mandy's Jam Jams

8. Homemade After Eights

7. Lovely Warm Hazelnut Milk with Vanilla Bean & Honey

6. Warm Spice Apple & Cream Parfait

5. Hazelnut Cream Squares

4. Gingersnap Cookies

3. Coconut Cookies

2. Walnut Fudge

1. Hazelnut Truffles

I hope everyone has a very Merry Chistmas and a wonderful New Year. Remember to make goals and work towards them! Accomplish them and be proud!! (These awesome treats are your reward!) Who needs refined sugar!? Am I right!?


Every morning I wake up to the sound of Tod bringing Kyri into our bedroom to be fed. At 20 months, I am still nursing her and I love it. I noticed the wind was howling and the rain was pounding on the side of our home. We live on a hill, facing the ocean so the weather really pounds on the south side of the house. Kyri raised her head and listened, then looked up at me and said "windy outside". and I agreed.

This is the perfect day for cuddles on the couch and hot soup.

Fall Soup with Mushrooms, Beans, Forbidden Black Rice & Roasted Veggies
This soup is perfect for rainy days, cold weather and empty stomachs

Serves 8

  • 8 cups of veggie broth, low sodium (2 box containers)
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp. marjoram, rubbed
  • 1 Tbsp. of your favourite seasoning, I used Spike 
  • 7 mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, low sodium, blended or keep diced
  • 1 can beans of your choice, rinsed

·         3/4 cup black forbidden rice
·         1 1/2 cups water

Roasted Veggies
  • 1 large yam, cubed
  • 7 fingerling potatoes, yellow and purple or whatever potatoes you prefer, cubed
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1/2 medium red onion, diced
  • 1 Tbsp. of your favourite seasoning, I used Spike 

  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
  • celtic sea salt, ground

1. Preheat oven to 350° F (175° C). Pour 1/4 cup vegetable broth on a large cookie sheet. Add veggies and sprinkle with seasoning. Add to the middle rack of the oven and bake for 25 minutes, until soft. Stir once half way through. Leave oven on for the toasted pumpkin seeds next.

2. Add 1 1/2 cups of water and black rice to a small pot and bring to a boil. Once it boils, turn down heat to medium/low and set timer for 20 minutes. Once bubbles are gone the heat must be turned off. Fluff rice with a fork and cover for another 5 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, add remaining veggie broth to a large pot on low heat. Add bay leaves and seasoning. Add 1 tsp. of marjoram to the palm of your hand and rub with your other hand. This rubbing process will bring out the flavours. Cut and add mushrooms. Add diced tomatoes, blended or keep diced. Rinse beans and add them. 

4. Once veggies and rice are done add them to the soup. Let soup simmer on low heat for half an hour. 

5. Add pumpkin seeds to a cookie sheet and toast in the oven for 8-10 minutes until crunchy.

6. Take bay leaves out of the soup. Garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds and ground celtic sea salt. Serve hot!

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