By Chef Lauren Cox

For many people, football season means tailgating with family and friends and enjoying tasty snacks, often foods that leave you bloated and your gut unhappy. If you’re like me and you literally can’t stomach an evening of wings and beer, try these recipes for the Big Game. With hidden gut-soothing ingredients and whole foods such as sweet potato, agar and yogurt,  you will feel balanced and healthy the next day.

Chocolate Ganache BrowniesSweet potato borwnie wood

1 cup vegan chocolate chips
¼ cup coconut oil
½ cup sweet potato puree
2 eggs, whisked
⅓ cup raw honey
¼ cup nut flour of choice (blanched almond and coconut are great)
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon sea salt

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease a brownie pan with coconut oil.

In a double boiler, melt the vegan chocolate chips, stirring with a spatula until glossy and smooth. Whisk in the coconut oil and remove from the heat. Next, stir in the sweet potato, eggs and honey evenly and set aside.

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Sprinkle this mix into the wet ingredients and stir until evenly combined. Pour the batter into the brownie pan and gently shake it back and forth to even out the batter and release any air bubbles.

Place the pan in the middle of the center rack of the oven and bake for about 45 minutes, or until the batter pulls from the sides of the pan.

Allow the brownies to cool completely before cutting and serving.


Orange Beer “Jell-O” ShotsJello shots CU v01

1 cup orange juice
1 cup organic wheat beer
¼ cup unsweetened cranberry juice
¼ cup blood orange liqueur or vodka
2 tablespoons agar agar powder

Fill a baking dish with 10-12 small plastic cups or hollowed out orange halves.

In a pot, bring half of the orange juice, half of the cranberry juice and the agar to a boil. Whisk vigorously until the agar powder is dissolved. Remove from heat.

Add the rest of the ingredients and stir. Place the small cups or orange halves in the baking dish. Pour mixture evenly into cups. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours until the mixture sets, or is firm to the touch, and serve!

Roasted Fennel and Artichoke Heart DipOnion Dip

2 cups fennel, cored and thinly sliced
1 sweet yellow onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon coconut oil
Sea salt and fresh pepper to taste
½ cup artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 teaspoon fresh dill, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
1 ½ cups greek yogurt

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.

In a baking dish, mix together the fennel, onion, garlic, coconut oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for about 25 minutes, or until the onions and fennel are roasted and caramelized. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

Transfer the roasted fennel, onion and garlic to a cutting board and roughly chop. In a bowl, mix together the artichokes, dill, lemon and yogurt. Add the chopped fennel, onion and garlic and mix evenly. Check the seasoning and add more salt and pepper if necessary.

Put  the mix in a serving bowl, cover and chill for at least an hour before serving.



Closer to Your Food is a wellness blog focused on eating and cooking for health and sustainability with recipes and lifestyle tips formulated around a plant-based diet and home-grown local foods. Chef Lauren Cox holds a B.A. from the le Cordon Bleu in Culinary Management with over 8 years of fine dining experience in private dining, catering and Michelan star restaurants.



*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.