MINTY BROWNIE HEAVEN (Vegan. GF.)

20161223_224148.jpg

Base fudgey brownie layer
-2 cups soft pitted dates(I like caramelly kinds.. but go for Medjool if it’s easiest!
-4 tsp coconut oil
-1 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
-2 cup sprouted and dehydrated walnuts
-3/4 cup rolled oats
-6 tablespoon raw cacao powder
-1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (I used the kind sweetened with stevia)
-2 peppermint candy cane, crushed (for holidays)
(or crumble up 1/4 cup organic mint candy patties for non-holiday times)
 wp-1482547192927.jpg
Mint Ganache Top
-3/4 cup full fat coconut milk (only use the solidified portion of canned milk)
-1 tablespoon peppermint extract & a splash of mint extract
-1 cup dark chocolate chips (I like stevia ones unless you want to make your own!)
Decoration
1 cup of crumbled mint candies of your choice or 6 peppermint candy canes for thewp-1482547192949.jpg holidays, crushed and sprinkled on top
WHAT TO DO:
Base
  1. Use food processor to pulse walnuts and oats until finely chopped–like coarse sand. Set aside in larger bowl.
  2. Add dates, melted coconut oil, sea salt and process on high until a smooth paste forms. Let it get super sticky and dense.
  3. Add the raw cacao, walnuts/oats mixture, chocolate chips, and mint candy of choice. Process until thoroughly mixed.  It’s hard to over-process them, so keep going until you’re darn sure 🙂
  4. Line an 8×8 or smaller springform with parchment paper. (The smaller the pan, the thicker the brownie!) Press the brownie layer firmly into the loaf pan..use gloved hands. Chill while you make the ganache.
wp-1482296170977.jpg
Ganache Top
  1. Bust out your double boiler 🙂
  2. Add the coconut creamed part of your millk and mint extracts to the bowl. Heat until the mixture is steamy hot…not rolling at a boil.  Add the chocolate chips and whisk to mix thoroughly. Pour the mixture over the brownie layer and chill in the freezer.
  3. Chill for 30 minutes and top with crushed candy canes-press into the top ganache with your gloved hands gently.  Chill for another 45 minutes minutes and then cut into mini squares. Store in freezer. Allow 3o minutes in fridge before serving…and at room temperature, the nice chilled minty flavor will last about 2 hours before your should put in fridge again.
wp-1482547192996.jpgThis fantastic recipe is adapted from ilovevegan.com … Thank you!
Advertisements

PALEO PECAN DATE PIE

wp-1479998514796.jpgSo, full disclosure.  This is a recipe that came from a mistake I knew I was making in the moment, but it is still beautiful to serve and tasty!!! So I’m humbly offer you my learn-from-my-goof goodie and the adjusted recipe.

Basically, I used too many dates (1.5 cups) because I was excited I got so many from the farmers market. Thus, it became a date (fruit and nut) cake instead of the pie I intended. All this to say, that’s why I am adjusting the ingredients to only have no more than 1/2 cup of date paste involved and more maple syrup. Sometimes, I get overzealous about cutting out the sweeteners and subbing whole foods instead, but it doesn’t always work as well as I want!  Note to self: less dates (in this case)!

wp-1479998514756.jpgINGREDIENTS:

for crust:

2 cups fine almond flour

1/2 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt

2 tablespoons ghee of coconut oil melted

1 egg-organic, pastured-raised  please

8 tablespoons monkfruit granules (or muscavado sugar or coconut crystals)

3 tablespoons raw cacao (or skip if you want straight forward pecan pie)

for filling:

1/2 cup maple syrup -unrefined, grade B

1/2 cup moistened date paste (do not use more unless you want a date cake!)

1/4 cup fair-trade molasses (of if the rich flavor of molasses is not your thing, just use 1/4 cup coconut palm sugar, especially, if you want to skip the cacao twist altogether.) Here’s why I like molasses .

3 eggs

3 tablespoons ghee or coconut oil

1/2 tablespoon arrowroot starch

1 teaspoon vanilla paste

2 cups pecans, chopped and whole

dollop of vanilla paste

handful of unbroken pecan to decorate top

dashes of cinnamon, ginger, and cloves

WHAT TO DO:

1- Heat oven to 350 degrees and spread coconut oil on sides of your 8-9″ springform pan after placing parchment paper on bottom.

2- Combine all of the ingredients for the crust and press into bottom of pan.  Bake 10 minutes.

3- In a stovetop bowl, mix all the filling ingredients (molasses, maple syrup, date paste,) bring to boil and let sit for minutes.

wp-1479998515908.jpg4- Whisk in eggs, ghee or coconut oil, arrowroot starch, vanilla paste, and dashes of spices. Mix in pecans.

wp-1479998515598.jpg5- Pour into crust and bake for 45 minutes.  Depending on how much date you used (1/3-1/2 up), you may need more baking time. Check check with toothpick on how set it is while not over baking so that it’s too dry.

6- After popping out of oven, place stevia sweetened chocolate chips in pattern you want your unbroken dates to make.  The chips will melt enough to be like glue to hold the pecans.  Decorate as you wish!  I like using soaked and dehydrated pecans for this so up the nutritional value as much as possible.

wp-1479998515031.jpg

Looks like a cake because I originally  used too much date paste!

wp-1479998514978.jpg

HECK YA Healthy Brownies (GF, Paleo, Nut-free)

When you bake to give, you bake and get… really YUMMY, HEALTHY TREATS!!!

This was prompted by my dear mom’s birthday. She enjoys chocolate, but I don’t want to give refined sugars to those I love if I can help it.  The constant challenge? … reinvent standard, sweet-tooth comforts with good-for-you options that taste great!

and TA-DAAAAAA:

Introducing–HECK YA HEALTHY BROWNIES–all whole food ingredients you can feel great about baking with, devouring, and sharing (if you have any left!)  (Awesome carob version at bottom if you need to skip caffeine in raw cacao!)20160305_232906.jpg

Happy to be sharing this 1st time successful baking run of these Gluten-Free, Paleo, Nut-free, Soy-Free Brownies.  These are light in texture, but become dense and chewy as they feel like they are melting in your mouth.  These have no added refined sugars, especially if you omit the optional stevia-sweetened chocolate chips used in the topping-layer baked in.  DO NOT TRY THESE IF YOU NEED A SUGAR HIGH– you won’t get such a high except for the good for you happies from whole food sourced ingredients. Then, again, there is that cacao that can lift your mood, though.

What you need (go organic, local, farmer market sourced!):

  • 2 medium purple sweet potatoes 2-3 cups when grated
  • 2 whole eggs
  • ½ cup melted coconut oil
  • ½ cup of date paste moistened with coconut milk and blended to thick syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
  • 3/4 cup cacao powder, sifted with next 3 ingredients (sift 2x’s) (replace with carob, if needed)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2½ tablespoons coconut flour
  • Himalayan pink salt – few dashes and one dash cinnamon
  • Mix stevia chocolate chips (optional) into ½ cup date paste mixed with melted coconut oil and 2 tablespoons of mesquite (top later of brownies before baking)

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 365 °F .
  2. Combine grated sweet potato, eggs, vanilla, date paste and coconut oil in a mixing bowl and stir together until well mixed. Then add sifted powders cacao powder, baking powder, baking soda, and coconut flour and hand mix. (I really like when the powdered ingredients are sifted 2x’s for lighted consistency.)
  3. Line springform pan with parchment paper and grease sides with coconut oil.
  4. Pour into 9×9 springform pan
  5. Cook for 30 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes, undo springform, cut into nice pieces. Add other toppings as you wish! This would be fantastic with raw banana ice cream or coconut ice cream.

So delectable!  I actually took a huge bite out of this fresh out of the oven.  I don’t have much patience to wait for baked goods to cool! LOL… It wasn’t a bite, it was several spoonfuls shared by a friend 🙂

Note: if you are not a bittersweet, dark chocolate lover like me, replace raw cacao powder with dutch chocolate and omit baking soda.  Here’s an in-depth article explaining why: http://www.seriouseats.com/2014/08/difference-dutch-process-natural-cocoa-powder-substitute.html why dutch cocoa

Regardless of whether you use carob, cacao, or dutch chocolate, ENJOY ENJOY ENJOY!

Happy birthday to my beloved mom… 🙂

Take 2!  I liked this version better because it was fudgier…the 1st version above was lighter and more cake like…

  • 3 1/2  cups of sweet potato grated
  • 1 cup of moistened (with coconut mylk) date paste blended to thick honey consistency
  • dollop of vanilla paste to mix into moistened date paste
  • 3 small eggs
  • add 1 teaspoon of lucuma and mesquite to batter
  • ½ cup coconut oil melted
  • ¾ cup cacao powder; ¼ cup baking chocolate
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder and baking soda each
  • 2 ½ tablespoon coconut flour (sift all dry ingredients 2xs)
  • Himalayan pink salt
  • For topping, use ½ cup of moistened date paste with vanilla paste and coconut oil, add 1 teaspoon each of cinnamon and mesquite and mix in stevia chocolate chips… layer on top of batter…. follow ingredients above and bake!

Last, but definitely not least… I version with CAROB! … for someone dear with gallbladder concerns and was told she needs to avoid chocolate.  Keep recipe the same as first version, add 1/4 cup of Monkfruit granules to batter.  For topping to mix in just at top–soak 1/3 cup of raw Indonesian cashews, 5 medjool dates and roughly blend. Add thawed, mashed cherries…mix into top of batter and bake!  Just make sure the carob is raw and fresh!

PALEO-FRIENDLY BANANA DATE “CAKE” LOAF

JANE’S BANANA DATE CAKE LOAFwpid-20150814_173318.jpg

I used to bake standard gluten-filled, sugar laden, and sour cream-filled banana nut bread, but this higher protein, no-gluten version TAKES THE CAKE! This one is FLUFFY LIGHT as a loaf YET DECADENT IN TASTE. PLUS, MY FAMILY ENJOYED THIS AS MY DAD’S HEALTHY BIRTHDAY CAKE OPTION and am now posting it because I made it again and it turned out just as delightful! 🙂 mmmmm…. happy birthday to a friend and to meeee bellyyyy 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 3 bananas (1 frozen from overripe and 2 ripe unfrozen yet…. or just do 3 ripe of any kind)
  • 4 free-roaming hen eggs
  • 3/5 cup coconut flour
  • 3/5 almond meal (not blanched)
  • 4 melted overflowing tablespoons of melted coconut oil
  • 3/4- 1 cup of mixed variety date paste broken up into chunks for mixing ease
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 dollop of vanilla bean paste
  • several dashes of Himalayan Pink salt
  • small capful of apple cider vinegar
  • unsweetened dark chocolate (I used what goes into making mole sauce for spice and depth)
  • 1 cup of more of pecan pieces
wpid-20150814_183206.jpgInstructions:
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit
  2. Combine your frozen bananas, eggs, vanilla, coconut oil, cider vinegar
  3. Once all of your ingredients are blended, add in your coconut flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, vanilla, and sea salt and mix well
  4. if you are using 2 unfrozen bananas, then slice super thin and mix into batter .  if using only room temp or only frozen, just mash and mix into wet batter in step 2
  5. then mix date paste into batter into well mixed, but not overly so
  6. Pour your batter in a loaf pan
  7. mix your coarsely crumbled chocolate and pecan pieces into top 1/8th of loaf pan batter b/c this will form a delicious crust
  8. You will bake for 40 minutes, then cover the top to prevent the crumbley choco-pecan covering from burning with some foil.  Put back into over let bake another 12 minutes.
  9. All done when a chopstick inserted into loaf comes out clean.
  10. I had enough batter to make a small mini loaf of this… for me…HEE HEE!!!wpid-20150814_161413.jpg

BTW– you can opt not to do the pecan and chocolate topping, but it made it so rich in look and flavor that I would recommend you add the flourish!

wpid-20150814_162807.jpg

…and I do love using a silicone loaf pan… avoid metal toxicity whenever possible (Aluminum in our systems is just bad news for our brain and studies have shown some links to Alzheimer’s Disease.

wpid-20150814_162229.jpg

A MAGNIFICENT PAIRING

THIS IS THE SWEET STORY OF HOW TO MAKE A WINNING TREAT FOR JUST ABOUT ANYBODY! Lots of variation in this one… take my suggestions and run with your ideas! The fundamental steps are the same, so this is what I like to call YUM-FUN!

wp-1474488710368.jpg

 

So, about once a year.. when my husband has his annual rum and cigar birthdate outing with pals, I get inspired to concoct a one-bite dessert pairing that represents us as a couple… (i.e. what would we be if we were a pair of desserts?)  I know.  I’m weird.  Nevertheless, I am happy with the outcome. Call me super strange, but having both one-bites’ flavors mix on my palate really hit me with a deep, sensory and arguably spiritual revelation! 

Introducing a Magical Pair:  

wpid-2015-04-28-07.14.34.jpg.jpeg

Peanut-y Rum Cup with Raspberry Crunch on top and

a Raw “Caramel” Almond, Date, and Fig Cup Crowned with Coconut.

Through this pairing, I have tasted what it is like to appreciate individual merits, but have a melding union be even more deliciously delightful than just one offering alone!  And is that not the mysterious, glorious one-ness a marriage is idealized to be?  Ah, the beauty of food and the enlightenment possible therein…  Try this. Seriously.  

A brief explanation: Jon enjoys rum, peanut butter, and raspberries…and I like everything in both items but prefer a healthier version of all treats. ta-DA!

HOW TO: the peanut-y cup was easy… wpid-20150427_184250.jpg

Just double boil semi-sweet chocolate along with a bit of coconut oil and rum extract (or the real thing), layer the ooey gooey smooth melted chocolate on the bottom of your mini paper cup liners, follow with a dollop of peanut better, and add more rum infused chocolate on top. Sprinkle with Himalayan salt and add a piece of freeze dried raspberry before putting in fridge to set for 10 minutes.  Easy and delish!  There is refined sugar in the store bought chocolate chips, which is the downer… which brings up the dessert version of “me” for Jon’s birthdate party favors.  A bit more complex, but less guilt later when you eat them…! LOL

INGREDIENTS:

Crust: 1 cup soaked and dehydrated almonds, 1/2 cup shredded coconut, 1/2 black mission figs, 3/4 cup medjool dates

“Caramel” middle : Halawi dates soaked in just enough water to soften, vanilla bean extract, cinnamon dash and sea salt.

Carob topping: melted Tablespoon of coconut oil, another couple Tablespoons of coconut manna, 1/4 cup of raw carob powder, 1 Tablespoon of yacon powder (or syrup would be better). mesquite is also a great option.

HOW TO:

Food process almonds until broken into large crumbles, not into a paste, add the dates and figs… and coconut shreds until it sticks together to mold into the bottom or your cup liners and muffin molds.  Your thumbs will be great to hollow out the middle in which you will put a dollop of the date paste “caramel” mixture.

 

To make the “caramel,” just food process all the listed ingredients until smooth.  Put this smooth paste in the cup.  Finally, melt the coconut oil and manna in a double boiler and whisk in carob powder and yacon–use maple syrup if you want a bit more sweet.  Drizzle over “caramel” dollop and smooth in down to be in line with the top of the crust.  Finally, cover the liquidy parts of the toppings with enough coconut shreds to cover.  Chill to set in fridge.  Enjoy!!!! …more work, but definitely less guilt involved since there’s nothing refined in the way of sweeteners in this option!

 

wp-1474488711039.jpg

Option using silicone cups…great to at home party purposes! This is messy yum-fun!

One more major bonus for the raw cup dessert  (the one I am describing WITHOUT chocolate… my doggie Rocky the Rescue can have a smidge, too!!! wahoo… and he enjoyed a few bits of a one-bite. 🙂  Truly guilt-free me!

 

 

So, this was a foodie’s way of helping you get to know me and my hubby as a pair… You can choose one or the other, but the magic of this pairing is that having both together makes the flavors even better!!! Truly!!!  I am super blessed at how this worked out!!!

Here are other varieties of this pictured below:

DATE ME

so… one point of great success from my juicing month is my lowered need for sweetness in what I eat and drink. I have not used my typical to-go stevia and agave options in anything I made for myself since breaking my fast!

But I do allow myself soaked dates for that touch of natural sweetness balanced by earthy glory. Here’s how to have them ready to go for whenever your smoothies, recipes, or your palate calls for them!2013-04-04 09.28.49

TA-DA DATE-ICE-CUBES! Soak your dates (so many different kinds to choose from!) for a couple days in the fridge and allow the natural sugars to release into the water. Delish! and then put them into your ice cube tray of choice. I like silicone baby food maker trays because they are a nice size and the dates fit perfectly into each cube. Here’s the one I have: http://www.amazon.com/green-sprouts-Silicone-Freezer-Green/dp/B002F9MUM0

I have added them to my shakes, smoothies, and frozen nana-iced treats (ya know, frozen bananas made into pseudo frozen yogurt/ice-creams?) This past week, I made one with dates, Vega Chai protein, and sprinkled sprouted, dehydrated walnuts and cinnamon on top. It hit the mark in terms of my PMS-need to nosh… It was great and the protein was a good balance to all the natural sugars…

You will LOVE getting Date-d… I promise!