MINTY BROWNIE HEAVEN (Vegan. GF.)

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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)
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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.
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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!
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A DOMESTICATED DIVA! …and blissed to be :)

🙂 …there’s gold at the end of this blog...

lightest and crispiest kale chips ever!

lightest and crispiest kale chips ever!

Just bragging a little bit before the final hoorah… I got ambitious due to a bunch of kale a galpal gifted me from the farmers market yesterday, so I decided I would bust out my dehydrator and challenge myself to make the lightest, crispiest (versus crunchiest) kale chips ever… and I DID!!!  Have you seen anything so golden brown and friend looking that actually wasn’t?  Me, neither!!! muahahhahaa!!! wpid-20150411_143051.jpgIt was an experiment that consisted of 2:1 (soaked buckwheat groats to sprouted pumpkin seeds) and lots of nutritional yeast, Himalayan pink salt, turmeric, ginger,  cayenne and other red peppers, dashes of apple cider vinegar and lemon juice and food processed together into a goopy paste. Then, I massaged it into all the flourishes of kale leaf crevices and then plastered it on extra thick on some for that potential extra mouthful of substance once dried… and it worked…. I am super satisfied… and with the extra goodies, it was quite filling! wpid-20150411_141000.jpg Then… I made a cauliflower, celery, and asparagus soup to simply swoon for as I was cleaning out my fridge and found I had chicken stock at the ready in my pantry.  A simple sautee, a rolling boil, and immersion blender magic along with organic adobo and mixed peppercorn gratings for seasoning and …..a super healthy soup now graces my fridge’s belly and mine. Wahoo!! I am on a roll!!! Since I was such a great domesticated dame, I decided I need to allow me-self some deserved delights…  and I happened to have some new treats that beckoned to me … For this, I give credit to a bestie for forcing me to accept a gift of delish chocolates and she hoisted upon me!!! LOL … she refused my refusal and got me all 3 flavors available at my new fav restaurant THE SPRINGS in downtown Los Angeles. http://thespringsla.com/  The chocolate is an offering by a wonderfully eco-consious obsessive chocolate-lover… let’s unite and support this company: http://fineandraw.com/ BTW I definitely feel the sticker price is worth all that has gone into its making and the rich flavor (with out refined sugars) it offers. wpid-20150411_184721.jpg wpid-20150411_184728.jpg

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I should be enjoy being the queen of my home more often … yay for Domesticated Diva-dom!!!

Let’s look “appreciate” that chocolate once, again, shall we?

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And to think this it all started with a unpretentious bundle of organic kale that came with tiny snails in tow (they are now happy and free in a garden)!

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NUTS FOR RAW PECAN PIE BITES

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COMPLEX AND SUPER INDULGENT with out anything “bad for you”… unless, of course, you eat them ALL yourself–but Thank goodness THANKSGIVING does say GIVING –You will be thankful you made these and your recipients will give THANKS, too!!! I promise… my hard to please parents actually said, “oh! these are tasty” (In Korean, of course!) ENJOY…  My version is inspired by the amazing NouveauRaw.com site… one of the best online resources of raw foodies!

NUTS FOR PECAN PIE BITES

INGREDIENTS

Crunchy Crust:

1.5 cups raw macadamia nuts, 3/4 cup raw buckwheat groats, 3/4 raw walnuts & dashes of salt

Gooey Center:

2 cups of date paste (I get mine from my farmers market. Soften with some warm water if not already moist enough)

1/8 cup of raw honey or use agave if you prefer (totally optional… it’s sweet enough without adding)

1 cup of raw pecans soaked

dashes of cinnamon, cayenne, ground ginger, & salt

Splashes of rum and almond extract

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Put your crust ingredients into the food processor and work only until it’s crumbly and you still have some whole buckwheat groats.

Place in your parchment lined and lightly greased springform pan. Press down to bind ingredients more compactly.

This is the tough part

This is the tough part

For the filling, food process the soaked pecans into a moderate powder–not too fine;not too coarse.

In your high powered blender (I like my Vita-mix.), blend up date paste, your water drizzles if you need it to mix, honey, spices, and extracts.

Add in your pecan powder and blend through.. Don’t make it too mushy and watery b/c your gooey center will not set and be too runny to be giftable!!!

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cross section after chilling

Layer your gooey goodness on top of your crust and smooth out top.

Layer the top with your chopped and whole pecans to finish.

Chill in fridge.  Cut when cooled after a few hours. Place in freezer…eat and share!

The buckwheat groats really give this soft-middle dessert a nice crunch that’s even more delightful than the pecan texture!

Dessert for breakfast folks~ 🙂  or at least for me !

Blessings!

Blueberry Hemp Muffins Battle Doughnut day!

I woke up with a hankering for blueberry muffins fueled by my want to feed my gal pals something good for them.
This was a first try and I was sooo happy with them. Not sweet, but sweet enough…and next time I may make a maple icing to drizzle on top for an extra sweet kiss.2013-06-06 10.04.02

Now, that was yesterday…and the three of us gobbled up the muffins and was fueled up for our commercial lifestyle test shoot we did together… we had fun! You can check out www.ActorsEssentials.com for my sweet galpal’s growing photography portfolio 🙂

Guess what today is? bad me day… yes, BAD ME. National Doughnut Day. Actually, I was really doing well–I made a seed-based raw vegan doughnut that looked gorgeous and tasted alright, but it was sure healthy! To be honest, I used sunflower seeds instead of the guaranteed goodness of brazil nuts because a friend recently almost died from his nut/legume allergy and I was motivated to risk the nut to seed swap. Next time…I’ll stick to brazil nuts for Raw doughnuts… However, because it was so protein dense, with added maca, and flax seeds, I was beyond full! I should’ve just stopped with my blueberry muffin snack mid-morning, but alas…
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My husband brings me a whole box of Krispy Kreme donuts plus their free Boston Creme version… and 3 donuts later, did I ever start to pay for them!! lotta dough all at once, ya know? carb coma after ouchy belly… lucky for me I had time to nap. 2013-06-07 16.30.55

Here’s the recipe for the GF & V coconut flour muffins that actually tasted much better to me than the deadly doughnuts… guilt-free and good… hmm– that’s hard to beat, eh?

Blueberry muffins with hemp seeds GF & Vegan

Ingredients:

¾ cup Bob’s Red mill all purpose GF flour (impt. b/c of the tapioca flour in it)
1 cup coconut flour
½ cup cassava flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
3 packets of stevia (or ½ cup of sweetener of choice)
½ cup agave or honey
4 dashes of Ceylon cinnamon
2 dashes of ground nutmeg
1/2 cup organic virgin coconut oil
3 flax/chia egg replacements
1/2 – 1 full cup non-dairy milk (I used coconut-almond blend)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 overripe mashed banana
2 cups organic blueberries (I like to use frozen)
2 tablespoons of hemp seeds
Grade B maple syrup, optional

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line muffin pan with liners or use silicone baking mold.. I like using both for variety of presentation.2013-06-06 10.04.13

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flours, starch, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Sift all into another bowl.

In a stainless steel bowl, warm coconut oil with mashed banana; mix egg replacers with non-dairy milk, and vanilla and beat to combine. When just warm enough to have coconut oil still liquid, combine both liquidy mixes and then add to dry mixture and continue folding/beat together until smooth. It will not be your typically wet batter b/c coconut flour will soak it all up. Just drizzle additional nondairy milk until all mixed up enough while adding hemp seeds. Add blueberries and mixed gently by hand. Do not over mix—little wild frozen blueberries will mash quickly, so frozen works well here.

Using a spoon, drop the dough balls into the 12 muffin cups and smooth tops with spoon. Bake in the center of the oven for 22-25 minutes, until domed and golden brown.

I think a nice maple syrup drizzle would be perfect if a morning kiss of sweetness is desired.

And some notes on tapioca vs. cassava flour to tickle the brain as much as we are tickling the tastebuds today:
Nutrition
• The cassava is a staple food for about 500 million people around the world. The edible parts of the cassava are the roots and leaves. The roots resemble sweet potatoes and are rich in carbohydrates, and the leaves are rich in vitamins and protein. Although similar to potatoes, the cassava is higher in potassium and has twice the fiber content.
Cassava Flour and Tapioca Flour
• Cassava Flour is made by cooking, drying and then grinding the cassava roots. This flour is different from tapioca flour, which is made from the leaves of the cassava plant. Both of them are gluten-free, so they are used widely by those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance.

Uses of Cassava Flour
• Cassava is often used as a substitute for wheat flour, especially to make breads, cakes, pasta and dumplings. It is also used to make starchy custards and puddings. In countries where wheat has to be imported and is in limited supply, bread is made by mixing cassava flour with wheat flour. Cassava flour is known to attract fewer insects and pests than normal wheat flour. Cassava flour’s starchy texture makes it an excellent thickener, and it is used to thicken soups, baby foods, puddings, sauces and gravies. Cassava flour is also used as a binding agent in sausages and processed meats to keep the meat together and ensure that it does not dry out completely while it is cooked.
Uses of Tapioca Flour
• Tapioca flour, which is made from the ground leaves of the cassava plant, is also used as a substitute for wheat or other carbohydrates. It is a very popular flour among bakers, because it gives breads and cakes a white finish and a chewy texture. It has no strong aroma of its own, so it is an ideal choice as a thickener because it does not interfere with or overpower the taste or smell of any dish.
• Copied from ehow:
http://www.ehow.com/info_8650307_uses-cassava-flour.html

oh… in case you want to see my healthy and very pretty doughnuts…
here are what I am calling my DA-DONUT-Os —
(but, again, I think I would have been happiest if I just stopped with my muffins…) *sigh.
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Now, off to a proper, balanced dinner with my thoughtful husby. muah*

DAY 1 of Juice Fast

Day 1 =Line of up juices:

a-      Warm lemon water at home

b-      Carrot, lemon juice

c-      Apple, mint, lemon juice

d-     Apple, cucumber, carrot, kale, cilantro, lemon

e-      Red beet, carrot, apple, cucumber, cilantro, lemon

f-       Cucumber, kale, parsley

g-      Ginger, lemon, chlorella, cayenne shot

h-      Ginger, lemon, zeolite shot

RECAP:

Morning: had my lemon water, picked up my Open Source Organic Juices listed above…had two before 12 noon.  Being the kitchen gave me the urge to munch, but when I thought about it, I realized I was not hungry at all, so a bad habit was trying to inch in. SO, to got more excited about this fast.  This Juice cleansing fast will be the best thing I have done for myself in pursuit of God and His best for me… it’s a journey toward richer spiritual discernment and earnest evaluation of mind, body, and soul.

Kept busy with my usual work as well as trying to figure out how to blog better…   I guess I will figure that out as I go on the journey!  I am grateful that I have an at-home day and not an audition-filled day as this is the first day to settle in and get going!  I have a feeling that most of this month may be quieter than usual as I dig deeper to build foundations upon which greater things will build!  Still, I will presume nothing as I am practicing to live fully embracing the unknown.

Afternoon: …was interesting.  By about 2pm, I realized I just wandered into the kitchen to just “look around” even when I was not hungry.  One of my weird habits is to open food storage areas and peer in and ponder over the consumables inside—the pantry, freezer, fridge…anywhere.  Since I had no reason to ponder over anything since all my juices for today were already made, I found myself feeling rather silly.  Really silly!

I plopped back on the computer to do more work, listened to a great teaching ancient Biblical practices, and then started working on a film script.  I was excited to have more time to do so primarily because I did not get caught up with food—prepping, eating, cleaning, planning the next meals and desserts to make and package to give to others… Food is a hobby—a serious one for me—probably too serious, actually! LOL!

My Maca, Chia, and Spirulina arrived today, so I am now really ready for the longhaul. Wahoo!

I realized I built into my guideline an afternoon boost and tea break, but I continue not to be hungry on all these juices.  …this is just day 1, however…

Night: Washing, prepping all the produce to start juicing them for tomorrow’s portions took me an hour.  I need to speed that up, but meticulous cleaning is important.  I am sure I’ll get speedier with the practice coming up.  I reward myself for the work with juice #5 and have another waiting with two mini shots, too.   I wish I could just buy all my juices!  Prudence and budget-mindedness precludes that luxury.. *sigh.

INTERESTING REALIZATION… as I picked through leafy greens to discard wilted, mushy ones, I found myself wanting to put various leaves and other produce in my mouth and just eat them—even the wilty ones… now I feel extra silly and weird!  Then it hits me…  My  original intent to just do a 3-day juice fast became an inspired lengthier 30-day journey because I need that long to break that stuff-my-mouth-reflex.  21 days or so how long it takes (so I hear) to create new, comfortable pathways of behavior in my brain, so by the time March 31st comes, I might find myself to be less of a mindless muncher!  Now THAT would be a miracle!