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Archive for the ‘Recipes – desserts’ Category

I just had to post a healthy bar recipe since there is a huge health scam going on now. The health scam I am referring to is gross misleading marketing campaign of practically every health bar out there. It frustrates me to no end seeing these fruit, nut, meal replacement, protein bars or what-have-yous being made to look like they are actually good for you. Upon closer inspection they are really not that much better than your average chocolate bar. Most contain a whole lot of refined sugars, or even worse corn syrup, and a ton of bad fat, all sorts of chemicals, preservatives, flavorings, etc. Now a bunch are being loaded with synthetic vitamins and minerals, making the consumer believe they are eating something nutritious. Although there are some decent ones out there that can be found at health stores, most are complete and utter crap.

That’s why it’s so much better making your own. Yes this granola bar has sugar in it, but it’s of the less refined variety, so it wont give you the horrible blood sugar fluctuations most of these bars would. It is high in protein and fiber, so it’ll keep you fuller longer. But the best part is, it tastes damn good!

There is a lot of debate on whether or not oats have gluten. There may be small amounts so I would not recommend this recipe to anyone who is Celiac. In that case, quinoa flakes can make a good substitute for the oats.

Enjoy!

You’ll Need:

  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar – a delicious low glycemic sweetener (or sucanat – an unrefined brown sugar)
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar
  • 1/3 cup almond butter
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (or Earth Balance Buttery Spread)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups organic quick-cooking oats
  • 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 3 tablespoons ground flax seeds

Directions:

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the coconut sugar, agave nectar, almond butter, coconut oil or Earth Balance, and vanilla. Stir until melted and all ingredients are well combined. Stir in the oats, sunflower seeds, cranberries, and ground flax seeds.

Press well into an 8-in. square baking dish covered with parchment paper or lightly greased.  Bake at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes or until set and edges are browned. Cool completely on a wire rack. Cut into bars.

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As promised, another gluten-free recipe! This is one I’ve been working on and tweaking for some time to come up with a gluten-free baked good that no one can tell is gluten free. And after a few taste-tests, I think I’ve managed to find a muffin that beats it’s gluten counterparts.

When it comes to gluten-free baking, a very important ingredient to have on hand is Xanthan Gum. This acts as the ‘gluten’ – the binding agent. This ensures that the product doesn’t crumble and can hold it’s shape well. It can be found at some grocery stores like Loblaws, some Metro’s carry the Rob’s Red Mill, and at all health food stores. It may seem kinda pricey when purchasing a bag, but you only need a tiny amount, so a bag will go a long, long way. And as mentioned before, ground flax seeds make an excellent egg replacer. One tablespoon of ground flax seeds mixed with 3 tablespoons of water equals one egg.

As for chocolate chips, I have finally discovered a brand that is free of dairy and soy. It has only 3 ingredients, but still tastes like regular chocolate chips! The brand is ‘Enjoy Life’, I found it at the organic area of Loblaws. They make a whole line of products that are free of the top most allergenic ingredients such as gluten, dairy, nuts, soy, eggs, and sulfites.

Enjoy!

You’ll need:

  • 1 ½ cups rice flour
  • 4 Tbsp arrowroot or tapioca starch
  • 3/4 cups cocoa powder
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 4 Tbsp ground flax seeds mixed with 6 Tbsp water (or 4 free-range eggs for a non-vegan recipe)
  • 1 cup almond milk, rice milk or organic soy milk
  • 3/4 – 1 cup agave nectar (depending on how sweet you like ’em)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup good oil such as coconut
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a bowl, mix all wet ingredients. In a separate bowl, combine all dry ingredients, slowly add to wet. Mix until well combined. Pour into lined muffin pan. Bake for 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out dry.

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Since Hugh wrote about molasses I figure I’d post a recipe with molasses in it. I personally find the taste of molasses a bit strong and overpowering, but adding it in small amounts to recipes really adds a little something! These cookies are gluten free and vegan, and so delicious. They are really crispy and full of flavor.

Enjoy!

You’ll need

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 2/3 cup agave nectar
  • 3 Tbsp molasses
  • 1 Tbsp ground flax seeds
  • 1-1/3 cups rice flour
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions
Melt the coconut oil in a pan on the stove, and cool slightly. Add sugar and molasses, mix well.
In a separate bowl, sift dry ingredients together and add to the pan. Mix well.
Chill dough for about an hour in the fridge. Once chilled, form into walnut-size balls, place on greased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.
Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 8-10 minutes.

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avocadoAhhh the Avocado – such a misunderstood fruit (yes, it is indeed classified as a fruit). Avocados are unique among the fruits in that they are a very concentrated food, more like a nut than a fruit. They also get a bad rep as being very fatty. Although they are high in fat, they are high in ‘good fat’ – the kind that your body needs and uses, not the kind that gets stored as flab and arterial plaque. Avocados are rich in potassium, contain good amounts of B vitamins and vitamins E, and they also have the highest fiber content of any fruit. Avocados are also great for skin and hair. Vitamin E helps keep your skin clear and glowing, and potassium and B vitamins keep your hair strong and shiny. But avocados can also be great for your skin and hair when placed directly on them!

They supply over a third of the daily recommended amount of vitamin K, a nutrient necessary to prevent blood clotting, and to assist with the absorption of calcium. They also have a significant amount of vitamin C, needed for immune health and tissue repair. So much in a such a small, tasty package!
Avocados are so rich and creamy, and can be used in a variety of ways. Here I’ve found a way to use them in a dessert (actually this dessert is adapted from a Woody Harrelson recipe). This dessert is completely raw, vegan, and delicious! No one will ever guess it’s made of avocados!

Enjoy!

mousse

Avocado Chocolate Mousse

You’ll need:

  • 3 ripe avocados
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ tablespoons cold-pressed coconut oil
  • 2/3 cup cocoa

Directions:

Blend all ingredients in blender or food processor until smooth!

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AlmondWhen it comes to baking, my biggest challenge is creating or finding recipes that are both dairy-free and gluten-free. I stumbled upon this recipe from allrecipes.com of all places. It is pretty simple to make, has only 4 ingredients, but such a rich and wonderful texture and taste. And it’s super high in protein since it’s made of almonds. With a few minor adjustments to the original recipe, this is another guiltless but tasty dessert!

Almonds are great – they are full of goodness! They contain high quality and highly absorbable protein, as well as magnesium, phosphorus, iron, vitamin E and vitamin B complex. Almonds are rich in calcium as well, making them an excellent substitute for dairy products.

For this recipe, you will need ground almonds. These can be purchased from most grocery stores and health food stores, or you can grind them up yourself to a fine powder.

Enjoy!

You’ll need:

  • 3 eggs (free-run are preferable)
  • 3/4 cup good sugar (such as succanat, agave nectar, or cane sugar if the other 2 are not available)
  • 1 ¾ cups finely ground almonds
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Prepare an 8 inch round baking pan by lining bottom with either parchment paper, or lightly greasing it using a good fat such as coconut oil.

2. In a bowl, beat the eggs until thick and tripled in volume. Add sugar slowly, beating until very thick. Slowly fold in extract and then almonds. Pour batter into prepared pan.

3. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden on top and slightly browned on edges. Cool in pan for 10 minutes then turn out.

– Can add slivered almonds and/or powdered sugar on top

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cc

This dairy free Creme Caramel uses one of my favorite milk and cream substitudes: coconut milk. It also uses an excellent low-glycemic sugar substitude: Agave Nectar (derived from the plant from which tequila is made), making this a dessert you don’t have to feel guilty about!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp. Agave Nectar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup (or more) agave nectar or maple syrup
  • pinch of salt
  • A little coconut oil (or other healthy oil) for greasing ramekins

Preparation:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease ramekins with oil.
2. Beat eggs by hand with a fork or with an electric mixer for 1 minute.
3. Add the salt, sugar, vanilla, and coconut milk and stir until well blended.
4. Pour a little syrup into the bottom of each ramekin (enough to cover the bottom + up to 1 Tbsp. more).
5. Now pour egg and coconut mixture into each ramekin until 3/4 full. (Do not stir – syrup will naturally remain at the bottom of the ramekin.)
6. Place ramekins in a large glass baking dish or on a deep-sided roasting pan.
7. Pour some water into the bottom of the baking dish or pan – until water reaches at least 1/4 way up the side of the ramekin.
8. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a fork inserted into the pudding comes out clean. Allow to cool, then place in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
9. To serve, run a knife around the inner rim of each ramekin (to loosen pudding).
10. Overturn the ramekins onto individual dessert plates. The pudding should fall out easily, with the syrup naturally dripping down over the coconut custard.

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