I love everything chocolate and am constantly craving chocolate – which is why you see so many chocolate creations. My little one inherited my love of this seratonin releaser. My husband who typically does not like desserts will eat anything chocolate. I was trying to satisfy two birthday needs – one was to make something chocolaty that we could take camping to celebrate my husband’s birthday. And something that I could use for goodie bags for my daughter’s birthday. I am tired of all the candy and unhealthy snacks which only makes her crave more, so I wanted to include something that was chocolate and filling yet healthy. And my husband is not a cake eater. So using black beans and cocoa powder as a base made two different flourless vegan creations that will knock your tastebuds away: a chocolate brownie and a fudgy chocolate pop.
There is so much to talk about with this mousse. It started off as two separate culinary experiments – one with mousse made with seaweed as a thickener (yes, seaweed and no, it’s not agar) and another with a savory vegan shortbread. Each was really amazing on its own, but the cookie was not the cookie I wanted. I did not want to waste the dough. The creative kitchen witch came out and I combined the two. O. M. G. Bob Ross once said, “There are no mistakes, only happy accidents.” This was a magnificent accident. The two together form the perfect bite. The mousse is chocolatey, creamy, rich, yet light with a subtle hint of mint. There is a crunch with cacao nibs. The crust is textured, salted with subtle hints of rosemary and citrus. The whole dessert is sweetened only with dates. My mouth waters as I write this. I think I will have a slice while I type.
Work has been slow lately, so I find myself using that extra time to spend with my daughter, a head strong, independent, passionate threenager…which leaves me needing time to recover. As a result I have been finding myself in stereotypical mom moments – enjoying my time alone running an errand like getting crayons at Target or taking an extra long time at the grocery store. Matcha was on sale. As I was making make my flourless peanut butter cookies, I thought why not use almond butter and add matcha? A new favorite was born: flourless almond butter cookies made with matcha, cacao nibs, himalayan salt and sweetened with either dates or maple syrup. Moist, chewey, with crunch from the cacao. And of course I would not leave you hanging on the peanut butter version.
Up until two weeks ago, I was really on top of eating clean, but after the election, I found myself struggling to eat well. Thanksgiving this year really inspired me to make a change – get out of my rut. But that did not turn off my cravings. The cold weather combined with the holiday feeling left me with the craving for warm bread…so I made one that would keep me healthy and happy. What better than a slice of a healthy flavorful bread and a cup of tea. This whole wheat, oat, zucchini, pumpkin, cranberry, pecan, chia bread made with psyllium husk, sweetened with dates and spiced with green cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove will keep you satisfied. It was moist, filling and full of flavor.
I absolutely love pancakes. I moved away from beautiful fluffy buttermilk pancakes to oat, almond cottage cheese pancakes – protein packed, no refined sugars or flours. Within the realm of flour/grain free pancakes I see recipes for pancakes made of banana, eggs and a dollop of almond butter…but these are full of sugar. So I set out to make a whole food pancake, sweetened with only a little banana and date, loaded with protein and fiber. The winner was a butternut squash, almond butter, banana pancake sweetened with whole dates and topped with a coconut milk, date vanilla “syrup.” And what perfect timing! This was not planned (honestly!), but I just found out that today Tuesday, February 9 2016 is pancake day. Pancakes are in the air.
I have a sweet tooth. And I have definitely passed that down on to my little one. When she wants something she sees other people eating, like ice cream or cup cakes, I make her a healthy version at home and try to teach her about the difference. I try not to give into my desires, and when I do, I make sure it is something home made – sweetened with a non refined low glycemic index sugar, flourless, full of some natural whole food goodness. I decided to make some quick grab and go flour-less, dairy-free power squares and then took it to the next level and added chocolate and fat…it tasted like fudge…with nuts.
I need little snacks to munch on when I leave the house or finish working out – something quick, just a few bites and that will sustain me. I often grab a few nuts and a piece of fruit, but sometime I just want something else. So I decided to stock my counter top, fridge and freezer with some small bites that will carry me through the day – so anticipate several posts based on some form of a quick bite. This recipe uses fresh pumpkin, ground flax, macadamia nuts, spices and an optional protein powder covered in pistachios, sunflower seeds or coconut to make little cold energy bites. The perfect on the go food.