Saturday, October 25, 2014

Gluten-free Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies


Gluten-Free Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies

I was in a hurry and just wanted to make a small batch of cookies because I was out of cookies and wanted to have some.
So it happened that, just quickly throwing together what came into my mind, I made the best cookies I've ever invented. I still can't believe it myself, but they are fabulous.
DH said "five stars!" after popping one into his mouth, and that means he finds them outstanding. Which does not happen too often with cookies.

They are not your usual chocolate chip cookie, first, because they do not have regular chocolate chips, but cocoa nibs.
Of course you can use regular choc chips, but believe me, it won't be the same. But it's up to you.
Second, I used coconut flour in them.
I am a huge fan of coconut flour because it's low carb, tastes awesome if you like coconut, and has a lot of good protein.
It just is not really great to bake with.
I mean, yeah, there are lots of recipes going bananas over the great taste, texture, consistency of coconut flour cakes and cookies, but honestly - I've never had a coconut flour cookie which wasn't either dry or egg-y, if it was only or mostly coconut flour.
The key to baking with coconut flour is using not too much of it in a recipe. Unless you want egg cookies or cake.

Evidently being in a hurry makes me think more quickly. I had circled around the perfect amount of coconut flour in cookies for several weeks already, and now I just thought: Okay, just don't use too much of it.

This is what happened:



Ingredients for 32 small soft cookies (1/2 tablespoon of dough each):
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup coconut four
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seeds
  • 1/4 cup soy flour
  • 1/2 cup certified gluten free oat flour (I used Bob's Red Mill)
  • 1/8 cup erythritol with stevia (truvia) or xylitol or sugar (feel free to use more sweetener if you want very sweet cookies)
  • 4 teaspoons coconut sugar or raw cane sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 medium egg
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa nibs or chocolate chips
  • 1-4 tablespoons cold water

Preparation:
  • Melt the coconut oil.
  • In a bowl, combine flours, baking powder, erythritol (truvia) or sugar and coconut or raw cane sugar.
  • Stir in cocoa nibs or chocolate chips.
  • Rub in melted oil.
  • Add egg, knead into soft dough, adding tablespoons of water as needed to get a soft, but not sticky dough.
  • Preheat oven to 320°F (160°C) if you have a convection oven or to 350°F (180°C) if it's not a convection oven.
  • Line cookie sheet with non stick paper and use 1/2 tablespoon measuring spoon to place 32 half rounds onto the cookie sheet.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes (mine took 12 minutes).
  • Let sit on cookie sheet for 5 more minutes after removing from oven, then let cool completely on a wire rack.


Enjoy!


Have you tried using cocoa nibs before?

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Gluten-free Candied Ginger Molasses Cookies


Gluten-free Candied Ginger Molasses Cookies

Ginger has many health properties, but in the first place, it tastes good.
Maybe the health properties of candied ginger are not quite as big as those of plain ginger, but there still have to be some.
In this cookie, I combined three things which I love in a cookie and which I never combined before: Ginger, molasses, and oatmeal.
The classic oatmeal raisin cookie turned into something exotic and spicy.

Not being a fan of very sweet things, the amount of molasses and erythritol used in this cookie is not exactly huge, because the ginger already is very sweet.
Feel free to increase the amount of sweetener to your liking.
These are small, soft and chewy cookies, no crunch here. You can of course make them larger if you wish.

Ingredients for 84 half tablespoon cookies:
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch (GMO free, of course)
  • 2 cups rolled oats (gluten free)
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 3.5 ounces candied ginger, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground mace or nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup erythritol (or sugar)
  • 1/2 cup non-hydrogenated soft margarine (or butter, if you use it)
  • 2 medium eggs, room temperature

Preparation:
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Cream together margarine or butter, molasses and erythritol or sugar, add eggs one at a time.
  • Combine flours, xanthan, baking powder, salt, spices, oats and ginger.
  • Knead dry ingredients into wet.
  • Drop 1/2 tablespoons of dough onto non-stick paper lined cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes.
  • Let cool on a wire rack and store in a cookie jar for up to 2 weeks if they make it that long.



Have you ever tried Chinese soft ginger bonbons?

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Coconut Latte for Mel


Coconut Latte for Mel

After finding out that coconut sugar has no coconut flavour at all, Mel was so disappointed that I decided to make this one for her: The real thing with coconut milk.
(I was a bit disappointed, too, because for all the hype about coconut sugar I don't find it *that* special, and I still don't quite believe in the low glycemic index thing. It's sucrose, after all.)

The weather today is ugly, no sun half an hour after sunrise and barely any light that you could speak of.
Not perfect for a photo shooting, but perfect for having a warm and comfy latte.
This is an ode to friendship which crosses time and space and a big ocean, hold together by the moon and coffee and dark chocolate :) Many other things, too, but coffee and dark chocolate are what is of interest in a coffee shop.

So instead of going for a wet run this morning, I threw coffee, very dark chocolate, coconut sugar and coconut milk into my cauldron and poured the result into the mug from Virginia. Mel and the mug have deserved something better than a coconut latte which doesn't taste of coconut!

Sorry for the poor photo - I didn't have coffee before shooting (it was in the mug, couldn't drink it before shooting) and I wasn't quite ready for fumbling around with the light a lot.

But now that I have tried the latte, I'm happy: It tastes of coconut, and it tastes good!




Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (neither light nor thick; mine has 60% coconut)
  • 3/4 cup strongly brewed coffee
  • 1 tiny piece of very dark chocolate (mine had 90% cocoa - see the tiny piece on top of the small piece in the picture? That's the amount I used. Feel free to use more or omit. I just used it as a flavour enhancer)
  • 1-2 teaspoons coconut sugar or raw cane sugar (or to taste)

Preparation:
  • Brew coffee and pour into mug with chocolate and sugar, stir well.
  • Add heated coconut milk.

Enjoy!


Have you ever tried coconut milk in your coffee?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Dairy-free Coconut Sugar Spice Latte


Dairy-free Coconut-Sugar Spice Latte

This latte was not a planned recipe; I just threw the ingredients together and then realized that the early morning sun was too perfect to be true - and too perfect not to be used for a photo.
So I went out and took a photo of my beautiful mug - a present from my even more beautiful friend Mel from Virginia - without even knowing if the liquid in it would be worth the shot.

It was. I'm not going to say that this is the best latte that ever saw the morning dew, but I definitely liked it and I'm definitely sure that it's worth to share.

Since I ran into a box of coconut sugar about two weeks ago, I have started to experiment with it. Not because I'm totally convinced that it really is better than any other sugar which is 80% sucrose, but because I really like the light caramel flavour of it.
If you want to read my musings about coconut sugar, you can do so on my German blog (I think Google might translate it).

If not, go ahead and try Dairy-free Coconut Sugar Spice Latte:

Ingredients:
  • ½ cup almond or soy milk
  • ¾ cup strong black coffee
  • ½ stick cinnamon
  • 1 clove
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground mace (or nutmeg)
  • 2 teaspoons coconut sugar (or more, to taste) (if you don't have coconut sugar, use dark cane sugar or caramel syrup to taste)
Preparation:
  • Heat milk with cinnamon, clove and mace or nutmeg.
  • Stir coconut sugar into coffee.
  • Remove cinnamon stick and clove from milk and either froth or steam milk, if it's a kind of milk that can be frothed or steamed, or just combine coffee and hot milk.
Enjoy!




Have you tried coconut sugar yet?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Quinoa Salad with Honey-Lime Glazed Shrimps


Quinoa Salad with Honey-Lime Glazed Shrimps

No coffee shop without some decent lunch options, right?
Decent meaning yummy, filling, healthy.

So what could fulfill these requirements better than a nice and fancy salad?

On the Quest with my friends through the culinary wonders of the world I arrived in the South American cuisines and took the challenge to create a new quinoa dish.
My actual plan was to make something really sophisticated, something including quinoa, chocolate, papayas and heaven knows what else.
But then I was in a hurry and needed a make ahead salad.
I kept clinging on my extravagant plans for a very special and sophisticated, never before seen quinoa recipe, until DH and I inhaled the quick make ahead salad.
"Oh," he said, "this is great! You have to post it!"



So my fancy ideas still linger somewhere in the ether of unborn masterpieces.
Maybe I'll give birth to them some time in the future.

In the meantime, let's have salad:

Ingredients for 2 servings:
  • 1/2 cup quinoa, uncooked (red or white quinoa, I used red for prettiness)
  • 1/2 pound shrimps, raw, peeled
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 papaya, diced
  • 1 lime, juice and zest of
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • olive oil for frying
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste

Preparation:
  • Rinse quinoa under hot water, then cook in 1 cup of water for about 15 minutes or until all the liquid is soaked up and the grains are soft.
  • Place cooked quinoa in a large salad bowl, add 1/2 teaspoon salt, mix well.
  • In a frying pan, heat olive oil and fry diced bell pepper until lightly browned, add salt and pepper to taste. Dump browned bell pepper from pan into the quinoa and add some more oil to the pan, re-heat and add the shrimps, fry until pink, then add a dash salt and 1 tablespoon honey. Stir well to coat the shrimps evenly with honey, fry until they start to brown a little (that's the caramelizing honey), and deglaze with 1/2 of the lime juice.
  • Continue frying for some seconds, until the liquid has become a syrup, then dump shrimps into the quinoa, too, scraping from the pan all the juice.
  • Add the rest of the lime juice and another 1/2 tablespoon of honey to the quinoa, mix well and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.
  • Add diced avocado and papaya, mix well and serve!


Have you ever tried red quinoa? This was my first time, and I realized that it needs the rinsing in advance more than the white quinoa. I'm not sure if it is more aromatic or if the colour deceives the taste buds, but I definitely liked it. Plus, it adds some more antioxidants (red colour)!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Gluten-free Bacon Infused Cornbread


Gluten-free Bacon Infused Cornbread

Currently I'm on a Culinary Quest with friends, which led me to the South of the USA.
Being half Romanian, one of my favourite comfort foods is mamaliga, the Romanian version of polenta.
Accordingly, I was utterly pleased when my first US cookbook 14 years ago introduced me to Southern cornbread.

I love that stuff.

I hunted down blue cornmeal, which is not exactly easy in Germany, and purple cornmeal, which isn't easy either.
What is easy to find here is fine yellow corn flour. Fine as in really fine, like rice flour - NOT cornstarch!! Fine yellow stuff which is a staple in gluten free baking in Germany. Of course it has this distinct con flavour which is not always desirable, but I like it, and I like to use yellow corn flour in cookies and cake.

Not long ago, my dear friend Paula posted a recipe for corn flour corn muffins which I eagerly made and thoroughly enjoyed.

Now I have taken the challenge of our Culinary Quest to develop my own cornbread recipe, and I decided for a cornbread using yellow corn flour.
As I'm not fond of the really sweet versions of cornbread I decided for a version using only a little bit of brown sugar to contrast the bacon, which I intended to put into it, too.



I used turkey bacon, but you can use any kind of bacon including vegan bacon. Vegan coconut bacon is the most awesome alternative, which would be great in this bread.



You can also use any kind of yoghurt - regular, sheep, goat, soy, coconut. If you don't want to use it, replace the 1 cup of milk and 1/4 cup of yoghurt with 1 1/4 cups milk of any kind, which you sour with 1 tablespoon vinegar.



Ingredients:
  • 1 cup coconut milk (light) or any other milk, if you don't have coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup yoghurt
  • 1 cup medium coarse yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup yellow corn flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup brown rice flour
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 egg or egg replacer for 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
  • 2 ounces bacon

Preparation:
  • Fry the bacon until crisp; if using turkey or vegan bacon, fry in some coconut oil, regular bacon doesn't need any oil at all. If using coconut bacon, there's no need to fry it. Just grab a handful and throw into the prepared batter.
  • Preheat oven to 375 °F or 190°C.
  • Place the coconut oil in an 8x8 inch square baking pan and heat on medium heat, until the oil is liquid and fairly hot; remove from heat.
  • In a bowl, combine cornmeal, corn flour, cornstarch, brown rice flour, xanthan gum, salt, sugar and baking powder.
  • Mix egg, milk and yoghurt, whisk until smooth.
  • Pour liquid mixture into dry ingredients, stirring, until the batter is smooth.
  • Add in the fried bacon and the bacon grease, or just the coconut bacon, stir well to combine.
  • Pour batter into pan with the melted coconut oil, smooth top.
  • Bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • This is awesome when served warm, but I also liked it after cooling.


Enjoy with salad or soup or topped with peanut butter!


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Gluten-free Strawberry-Chocolate Muffins


Gluten-free Strawberry-Chocolate-Muffins

Chocolate and strawberries go so well together that I could spend all my time conjuring up new recipes which feature this combination.

But there are other berries, too, and stuff like peaches and apricots ... So maybe this will be the last strawberry recipe for this summer.

They are easy to make, even though the ingredient list seems lengthy, and I discovered that the flavour develops when you freeze and thaw them.



This makes 7-8 berry pretty little beauties.



Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/8 cup ground nuts or almonds
  • 1/8 cup cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1/8 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 tablespoons erythritol or sugar, divided
  • 2 tablespoons agave syrup
  • 1 teaspoon raw cane sugar or brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 package vanilla pudding (not instant!)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 50 ml soy milk (or other milk of choice)
  • 1 cup strawberries

Preparation:
  • Preheat oven to 350°F or 180°C and line 7 muffin tins with paper liners.
  • Puree strawberries with egg, vanilla, 1 tablespoon erythritol or sugar and 1 tablespoon agave syrup; this should make about 1 cup
  • Mix brown rice flour, ground nuts, 1/8 cup cornstarch, 3 tablespoons erythritol, baking powder, xanthan gum and cocoa powder, add 1/3 cup of the strawberry mix, 50 mil milk and 1 more tablespoon agave syrup.
  • Divide chocolate batter between the 7 tins; they should be only about 1/3 full. If you have left over batter, just add one more tin.
  • Combine the rest of the strawberry mix with 1 teaspoon (or more to taste) raw or brown cane sugar, pudding powder and 2 tablespoons cornstarch.
  • Pour strawberry-pudding mix over chocolate batter.
  • Bake for 20 minutes.
  • Let cool in the tins for some minutes, then remove and let cool on a wire rack.

Let completely cool before eating. They get even better after freezing and thawing.
Enjoy!




What's your favourite strawberry recipe?

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Healthy Gluten-Free Vegan Blondies


Healthy Gluten-Free Vegan Blondies

Neither gluten-free nor vegan does necessarily mean healthy.
There is as much gluten free industry trash on the market as non-gluten free, and a huge part of the vegan products is so highly processed stuff that a piece of organic meat most probably would be healthier as well as more ethic than those fruits of industrial processing.

If I make things vegan, it's in the first place because I avoid dairy. But even though I don't think that organic meat and eggs are bad for us, I *do* think that it is not necessary to have huge lots of them. Producing meat and eggs for human consumption in huge quantities is a waste of resources and does more harm to our environment than cultivating plants (if they're cultivated reasonably).

Besides that, there are many people who are allergic to eggs, so I like developing decadent, yet healthy recipes with as few allergens as possible.

These blondies are easy to make, gooey, sweet and decadent but not overloaded with tons of sugar or unhealthy fat. The secret ingredient is the pear puree which is sweeter than apple sauce and gives the blondies a fudgier flavour.



Ingredients:
  • 1 medium ripe pear, peeled, cored, and diced, with 1/8 cup water or
  • 1/8 cup + 2 teaspoons pear puree
  • 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil (olive oil works well, too)
  • 2 tablespoons soy or other plant milk
  • 1/2 cup brown rice or millet flour (or any other gluten free flour)
  • 1/8 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 cup muscovado sugar (or raw cane sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Preparation:
  • Cook diced pear with 1/8 cup water until mushy (add more water if necessary); you want the consistency of apple sauce.
  • Let cool.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F or 180°C.
  • Layer 4x8 inch (10x20 cm) loaf pan with non stick paper so that the ends of the paper reach over the brim of the pan - this helps removing the blondie from the pan.
  • In a bowl, combine flour, xanthan and baking powder.
  • In another bowl, cream together pear puree, coconut or olive oil, milk, sugar and vanilla.
  • Stir flour into wet ingredients, then pour into prepared loaf pan.
  • Bake for about 30 minutes (check for doneness after 20 minutes).
  • Let cool until set, then remove from pan and let completely cool on a wire rack.
  • Makes 8 blondies.
Enjoy!




What do you prefer? Blondies or brownies?

Friday, June 13, 2014

Vegan Flower Syrup Truffles


Vegan Flower Syrup Truffles

If you like flower flavours, you might like these frozen little goodies.
Except for the coating, they can be raw, too, if you use raw cashew butter and have made your syrup without boiling.
Pears are a good base, because their flavour and sweetness are not so overwhelming as the taste of bananas, and they blend very well with flower aromas.
You can use either white chocolate in these truffles or plain cocoa butter. As I'm not usually a fan of white chocolate, I used cocoa butter, but I'm not dogmatic, so feel free to use either of them ;-)

Also you can use any flower syrup which floats your boat; I used elder flower syrup, but you can even use plain agave syrup with rose water or orange blossom water to taste. Play around, try new flavours - you might be astonished at the result!

My truffles were heart shaped and looked quite beautiful before I dumped them into the couverture ... but the taste *with* chocolate coating definitely makes up for the looks!



Ingredients:
  • 1 ripe medium pear, peeled, cored
  • 2 tablespoons smooth white cashew butter
  • 1 ounce cocoa butter or white chocolate, melted
  • 2 tablespoons flower syrup

Preparation:
  • Melt white chocolate or cocoa butter in a not too hot bain-marie.
  • Combine everything and blend in a blender (I used an immersion blender) until smooth.
  • Fill into ice cube trays or candy molds.
  • Freeze for a couple of hours; the truffles won't become rock hard, and they melt quickly.
  • If you want to coat them in chocolate, melt about 3 ounces of dark chocolate with 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil, dip the frozen truffles in and return to the freezer on a tray, lined with non stick paper.
  • Remove from freezer about 2-5 minutes prior to eating.
Enjoy!


What kind of truffles do you like best? Frozen or room temperature?

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Elder Flower Syrup


Elder Flower Syrup

Many years ago I had breakfast with a friend up in the Black Forest. It was June, and she had made elder cakes (Hollerkuechle in German). For this, you cut fresh elder flowers, dip them into batter and then deep fry until crisp.
I liked the fragrant elder flavour, but otherwise wasn't exactly excited, because deep fried baked goods made me even more sick than any other cake or cookie.
Meanwhile, I discovered that I don't get sick from gluten free deep fried batter, but I still don't care for deep fried stuff.
The lovely flavour of the elder flowers stuck with me, though, and so this year, I finally decided to give elder flower syrup a try.
We have an elder tree in our garden, and the whole neighbourhood, including the forest nearby, is full with blossoming elder trees which fill the air with this sweet, heavy fragrance that is typical for the flowers of black elder.



Elderflowers and juice and jelly from the berries are used to cure colds and flus, and scientific studies have proven that elderberry extract is effective in treating influenza B. That might be due to the high content of vitamin C and anthocyanidins (the dark plant pigments) and essential oils.

There are many myths around the black elder, such as the belief that carrying an elder twig prevents rheumatism, or that lightening never strikes an elder tree.
English and Scandinavian folklore calls the elder-guarding being "elder mother". She's guarding the elder trees, and you better don't take wood or flowers from the tree without first asking for her permission to do so.

So, go out, find an elder, ask for permission and get some elder flowers to make this fragrant syrup!



This is raw syrup; you can boil it after removing the flowers, but I don't find that necessary - after all, you also eat raw fruit. You just have to store the syrup in the fridge so that it doesn't start to ferment, or you'll get some very strong elder flower wine that is most likely to explode at some point.
The syrup will last for at least 6 months in the fridge.
Just rinse the bottle or jar with boiling water and then let cool before pouring the syrup in.



Elder flower syrup can be used to mix with water for lemonade, or mixed with champaign, drizzled over ice cream or cake or which ever way you like to use syrups.

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup water
  • 8.5 ounces light raw cane sugar
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon citric acid
  • 3 panicles of elder flowers
  • 1 glass bottle or jar for 1 1/2 cups syrup.

Preparation:
  • On a dry day around midday, choose a good looking black elder tree. The flowers have to be dry, not wet from rain or dew.
  • Ask the Elder Mother for permission.
  • Pick 3 flower panicles.
  • Thank the elder Mother for her gift to you.
  • Gently shake off any tiny insects that might be on the flowers, but don't wash the flowers. You want the pollen to get the unique flavour.
  • Place the flowers in a glass bowl, cover with the citric acid and the thinly sliced 1/2 lemon. Add 1 cup of filtered water.
  • Let sit on the counter overnight.
  • The next morning, drain the liquid through a sieve, discard the flowers and lemon slices and add 8.5 ounces of light raw cane sugar to the liquid. Stir well and let sit for another 24 hours, stirring occasionally. After about 24 hours, the sugar should have dissolved, and the liquid should be clear.
  • Rinse the bottle or jar for storing with boiling water, let cool, then fill syrup in and store in the fridge.
Enjoy!


Have you ever made or used flower syrups?

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Gluten-free Vegan Red Velvet Cupcakes


Deep Purple Velvet Cupcakes

Red Velvet Cake always fascinated me because of the stunning colour.
But then, the origin of the colour did not fascinate me. Particularly when I red how much red colouring actually goes into "normal" red velvet cake.
I played with the idea of beet juice for colouring long before I read recipes using beets for the colour.
My first attempt was with cooked beets.
To be honest, I have no clue how other people get their cake so incredibly red with beets. The one with cooked red beets had a distinct earthy beet taste, and the colour was an ugly reddish-brown.
I tried to get a decent photo adding some chocolate frosting to the cupcake, but that, unfortunately, looked like a dog had left his big business on top of an ugly reddish-brown cupcake. Yuk.
My next attempt featured one small raw red beet and a half cup blueberries.
I used a lot of acid and raw organic cocoa powder, but still the cupcakes don't look exactly red.
But they taste good.
They are crunchy on the outside due to the erythritol I used, and very gooey on the inside. Gooey, sweet, a bit fruity and slightly chocolate-y.
They don't look gorgeous, but they are gluten free, vegan, moist and yummy, and the colour, even though not as deep purple as my imagination would like, clearly has some purple in it.

If you use other sweetener, the outside most probably won't be as crunchy. Erythritol doesn't give up its crystal structure, so I made the experience that cakes with erythritol may be wonderfully moist on the inside, but the outside gets crisp, and sometimes you even see white crystal structures on top of a cake.
Personally, I don't mind. I don't want to eat tons of sugar, so I accept that baked goods using erythritol don't look like perfect pieces of art and that the texture might differ from what we are used to.
It's an adventure, right? And as long as it tastes good and is healthier than your average piece of cake, it does neither have to be mainstream nor elegant. It's a healthy piece of art on its own.



Ingredients:
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca starch
  • 3 tablespoons ground flax seeds
  • 1/8 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons raw organic cocoa powder (or any unsweetened not dark cocoa powder that isn't dutch processed)
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons erythritol or sugar (I used erythritol with stevia)
  • 2 tablespoons raw cane sugar
  • 1-2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 small raw red beet, peeled
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, cooked until mushy with 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted (or olive oil)
  • Juice of 1 lime

Preparation:
  • Preheat oven to 350°F / 180°C (325°F / 170°C for convection oven).
  • Line cupcake tray with 12 paper cups.
  • Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl, mix well.
  • Puree peeled beet and mushy blueberries with 1/2 cup water and lime juice.
  • Combine wet and dry ingredients, let sit for a minute, then pour batter into cupcake tins.
  • Bake for 18-22 minutes.
  • Remove from tray and cool completely on a wire rack.
  • Frost with your favourite frosting or enjoy plain. I like to just eat them plain or top them with some almond butter.


Have you ever tried to use beets for baking cake?


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Healthy Dairy-free Blueberry Mocha


Healthy Dairy-free Blueberry Mocha

Another one of my beloved berry mochas!
Who doesn't like blueberries, and who doesn't know how healthy they are? No need to talk about antioxidants here.



Even though I'm all for using raw, fresh syrups, I didn't succeed in making a really good raw blueberry syrup for mocha. It's good for other purposes, but not the best for mocha.
So I cheated a bit and heated the blueberries just to a boil and then removed them from the heat, mashed them, added honey and pressed them through a sieve.
Of course you can mix them in a blender and then press the mush through a sieve, add syrup and go ahead. I just wasn't totally content with the consistency of that - not for mocha, which I don't make for health reasons in the first place. I just try to make something decadent healthier than your average store bought mocha.



Ingredients:
  • 4 tablespoons fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon (or more to taste) agave, maple or brown rice syrup or honey
  • 1 teaspoon + 1/2 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons + 1 teaspoon syrup or honey (or to taste)
  • Vanilla, to taste
  • 1-2 espresso shots or 1/8-1/4 cup strong brewed coffee
  • 1/3 cup steamed or just hot non dairy milk

Preparation:
  • In a small pan, heat blueberries and water until just boiling. Immediately remove from heat, mash the berries, add 1 teaspoon syrup or honey (or to taste; you can also add some stevia, if you like).
  • Let cool.
  • In a mug, mix 1 teaspoon cocoa powder and 2 teaspoons syrup or honey (or to taste).
  • Add 3-4 tablespoons of the blueberry syrup, mix well, add vanilla to taste.
  • Mix remaining 1/2 teaspoon cocoa powder with remaining teaspoon syrup or honey in a small vial.
  • Brew coffee and heat and/or steam milk.
  • Combine brewed coffee and syrups in the mug, mix well, add hot or steamed milk and top with remaining blueberry and chocolate syrup.
  • Enjoy!


What's your favourite way to have blueberries?