Tag Archive: chocolate
May 24, 2013
A year ago, I probably would have said ew at holding a 30 pound pig leg. I would have never imagined that I would look the way I do…or spend every possible moment cooking up a storm.
Well, here I am. You really never know.
When I started my journey, I really didn’t think I could do it. I was clueless. I was frustrated. I was plain and outright SCARED. But I did do it, and I’m so glad I tried and didn’t give up.
So, whether you’re 15 or 50, just know that if I can do it, so can YOU. You have power over your body. You don’t need chips and candy to make your life complete. All you need is a little determination, and you can accomplish it.
Now, onto the real reason why you’re here: the chocolate mini muffins.
If you’re one of those people that will eat an entire pan of brownies as soon as they exit the oven, these are for you. With your chocolaty dessert pre-portioned beforehand, you’ll be much less likely to go overboard while still enjoying yourself. Yum.
And—bonus—these little guys are very allergy-friendly: they’re both gluten-free and nut-free, and can easily be made dairy-free. How awesome is that?
A special thanks to Tammy Credicott of The Healthy Gluten-Free Life for recipe inspiration!
First, preheat the oven to…you guessed it…350 degrees. Line a mini muffin pan with liners and grease a bit if necessary.
In a small bowl, sift together 1/3 cup of raw cacao powder, 1/4 cup of coconut flour, 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, and a good pinch of salt. Whisk to combine and set aside.
On medium speed, beat together 4 eggs, 1/3 cup of raw honey OR maple syrup, 1/4 cup of melted refined coconut oil, and 1/4 cup of full-fat or low-fat yogurt. (I used Green Valley Organics Lactose-Free yogurt, which both my mom and I adore.) Don’t do dairy? Substitute 1/4 cup of coconut milk and 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract instead.
Meanwhile, melt about 3 ounces of chocolate in a saucepan or in the microwave in 30-second intervals. (I used Alter Eco Blackout, my favorite dark chocolate bar.) Pour gently into the rest of the wet ingredients and mix for 1 to 2 minutes more.
Next, add the dry ingredients in two batches to the wet ingredients. Mix on medium until well-incorporated, about 2 minutes longer. With a spatula, fold in 1/4-1/3 cup of mini chocolate chips.
Using two large spoons, fill up each mini muffin liner with a generous glob of batter.
Bake until a toothpick comes out clean in the center and the tops are beginning to brown, about 15 minutes.
Let cool in the pan for at least five minutes (restrain yourself!), then eat alone or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
What’s your favorite birthday treat? Leave me a comment on Facebook and let me know!
Tags: Allergy friendly, brownies, chocolate, delicious, dessert, gluten-free, grain-free, healthy, muffins, nut-free, paleo
May 16, 2013
To quote my gluten-free bio teacher, “It was so nice to have a doughnut. I haven’t been able to have one in forever because I can’t eat them.”
That’s right. YOU—yes, you—can have a delicious holed dessert without gluten, grains, dairy, and tons of added sugar. No grease, no junk, no guilt!
The only special equipment you’ll need is a doughnut pan: I got mine for nine bucks off of Amazon, and it worked beautifully.
First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. (Have you noticed that 350 is the magic number for baking?) Grease your doughnut pan with a little bit of coconut oil and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer on medium, beat together 1/3 cup of softened refined coconut oil, 1/4 cup of raw honey OR maple syrup, 1/3 cup of light coconut milk (I used it because it’s more liquid-y than the full-fat stuff), 3 eggs at room temperature, 1/2 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, and 2 1/2 tablespoons of vanilla until homogeneous. (I know this seems like a lot, but it’s to cover up the coconut-y-ness of the milk.)
Decide to make these on a whim and have no
time patience to bring eggs to room temperature? Here’s a great trick: submerge the eggs in a small bowl of hot water for 5 minutes, and voila! Please, do not use cold eggs—the texture won’t be quite right.
To the wet ingredients, add 2 3/4 cups of blanched almond flour, 2 tablespoons of coconut flour, 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, and a pinch of salt. Mix on medium until completely combined with the wet ingredients, about 2 minutes longer, then add 1/4 to 1/3 cup of mini chocolate chips to the dough.
Scoop the dough into a large plastic bag and seal the top. Make sure you get as much air out as possible! Push everything towards one of the bag’s lower corners and twist the rest of the bag tightly. Make a horizontal cut along that corner, snipping off about 1-2 inches total.
Applying gentle pressure, squeeze the dough around the center of each spot in the doughnut pan. Smooth out the tops with a small spatula or the back of a spoon.
Bake until golden brown on top and a toothpick comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes total. Oven temperatures vary, so always keep an eye on your treats!
Allow the doughnuts to rest in the pan for 10 to 20 minutes before carefully removing to a plate or wire rack to completely cool.
While the doughnuts come to room temperature, make the chocolate glaze. In a small saucepan or in the microwave with 30-second intervals, melt together 4 ounces of dark chocolate and 3 tablespoons of refined coconut oil. Once melted, place in the fridge for 10 minutes before dunking the top of each doughnut in the chocolate.
Let harden in the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes, then repeat the glaze-dousing process. Return to the freezer for another 5 to 10 minutes before applying the final layer of chocolaty goodness.
Freeze for another 5 to 10 minutes, then dig in immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Now, who wouldn’t want that? A crazy person, that’s who!
For the dairy-free ice cream recipe I used, head on over to Living Healthy with Chocolate. (The verdict? Excellent texture, but experimentation with different brands of coconut milk is needed.)
If there’s a dessert you’d like me to try and make gluten-free/dairy-free/Paleo, leave me a comment on Facebook!
Tags: baking, chocolate, dairy-free, delicious, dessert, donuts, doughnuts, gluten-free, healthy, paleo
May 12, 2013
There’s a reason why obesity is such a problem in this country. It’s because candy bars happen to be so. Freaking. TASTY.
Although I love a good piece of chocolate, my favorite kinds of candy are always the ones that have the perfect mix of sweet, salty, and crunchy. These Yum-Yum bars are kinda a combination of Snickers and Twix bars, with a crisp shortbread base, creamy sunbutter filler, and a drizzle of dark chocolate on top.
To ZipList this recipe, click here.
You’ve gotta start from the ground up. Here’s how to make the cookies!
In the bowl of a food processor, combine 1/2 cup of melted refined coconut oil, 1/4 cup of raw honey OR maple syrup, and 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract. Blend just to combine, about 1 to 2 minutes.
To the wet ingredients, add 2 cups of blanched almond flour, 1/2 cup of arrowroot powder, 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda, and a pinch of salt. Process until a sticky, slightly crumbly ball, about 3 minutes longer.
Gather the dough and squeeze it into a ball. Your hands are going to get REALLY GREASY, so have some soap ready to wash off the excess coconut oil afterwards.
Wrap the ball tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour, preferably 2.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Unwrap the ball and roll it out until it’s about 1/4-inch thick.
Cut off the crumbly stuff along the sides to form a perfect rectangle. (You can squish the scraps back together and make more cookies!) Cut it into 7 or 8 pieces, then bake until crisp and golden-brown, about 15 to 17 minutes.
Once out of the oven, feel free to slice each piece in half or leave them whole. Let cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a plate and put in the freezer to chill out for about 15 minutes. DO NOT skip this step: if you do, the filling will melt all over your cookies and not stick at all.
To make the closest thing you can get to the most awesome peanut butter ever without peanuts, simply combine 1/2 cup of palm shortening and 1/4 cup of sunbutter (sunflower seed butter) in a bowl with 1 tablespoon of raw honey OR maple syrup a generous pinch of salt. Stir to combine and let sit in the fridge until the cookies are cool.
Once the cookies are frigid to the touch, top each with about 2 teaspoons of the filling. Spread gently with a knife, then pop back in the freezer to firm up for 10 to 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt 3 ounces of dark chocolate in a saucepan over low heat, then cool in the fridge for about 10 minutes until the consistency of soft butter.
When the Yum-Yum bars are solid, take them out of the freezer and top with a spoonful of the chocolate. Let freeze for another 15 minutes, or eat right away, like I did.
What’s this magical pile sitting atop some of these Yum-Yum bars? Stay tuned to find out my secret ingredient. 🙂
All I can say is YUM. YUM.
What candy bar would you like to see recreated? Leave me a comment on Facebook and let me know!
Tags: candy, chocolate, crunchy, dairy-free, delicious, dessert, gluten-free, healthy, paleo, Snickers, sweet, Twix
May 7, 2013
Sometimes, you just need dessert. No, not want, NEED.
Pizza? Eh, I can live without it. Chips and Cheetos? No problem. But dessert, especially chocolate…? Uh, I’m not giving either up anytime soon.
The quantity of sugar I used to eat was really what caused my weight to swell. Instead of having a little piece of candy or a bite of someone else’s dessert, I’d eat half a bag of those Dove dark chocolate squares or multiple slices of cake at sleepovers and parties. I craved the sweetness…and bad.
I went many months without eating dessert, saying no to squishy cafeteria cookies and pie at Thanksgiving. Eventually, I weaned myself off of sugar, like the good healthy disciple I am.
But that was no fun. I’d bake cookies or brownies for my parents or friends and never taste a bite! One day, I decided that enough was enough—I wanted dessert again.
Now, however, I consume my sweets healthfully. I bake completely gluten-free and mostly dairy free, sweetening only with small quantities of raw honey or coconut sugar. I have a reasonable portion on Saturdays and Sundays and save really decadent treats for vacation and special occasions.
I love making my dessert and enjoying it, too. And you know what? So can you! In my opinion, a homemade baked good here and there is an important part of any diet…just in moderation. So, if you’re looking for a tasty weeknight or weekend project, try recreating these two incredible desserts.
The biscotti were inspired by Gather, one of my new favorite cookbooks. (Yes, I chased the UPS truck to attain my copy.) If you haven’t already taken a peek, definitely check it out.
First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Do not use tinfoil, or else you will have crunchy silvery bits in your cookies.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat 1 egg, 1/3 cup of raw honey, and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract on medium (for me, about setting 4) until homogeneous, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine 2 cups of blanched almond flour, 1/3 cup of arrowroot flour, 2 teaspoons of baking powder, and a pinch of salt in a large mixing bowl. Break up any clumps with your hands.
Using a scoop or measuring cup, add about 1 cup of the dry ingredients at a time to the wet ingredients and mix until well-incorporated, about 3 minutes. Then, with a spatula, fold in an additional 1 tablespoon of arrowroot powder and 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips. (I used Enjoy Life, but you can also use 3 ounces of chopped dark chocolate.)
Dump all of the batter onto the prepared baking sheet and with your hands, flatten it into a 1-inch thick circle-ish-rectangle-thing. It doesn’t have to be perfect!
Bake until golden brown on top but not solid as a rock, about 20 minutes.
Allow the circle-ish-rectangle-thing to cool for at least 15 minutes, then slice it into eighths. Flip the cookies on their sides so the inside is facing up, and bake for another 15 minutes.
Once beginning to brown on the insides, decrease the oven temperature to 250 degrees. Bake for another 10 to 15 minutes, depending on how crunchy you want your biscotti.
Immediately upon exiting the oven, drizzle the cookies with some melted dark chocolate (I only needed about an ounce to give them a proper coating.) Don’t be stingy…be like Jackson Pollock!
You could always eat these biscotti with a strong espresso and call it a day, but I don’t recommend eating one without this chocolate mousse. It’s insanely easy to make; just do it!
In the bowl of a food processor, blend 4 eggs until airy and pale yellow, about 3 to 4 minutes. Because you’ll be eating the eggs raw, buy the freshest product possible, even if it costs a little extra.
While the eggs blend, melt 4 ounces of dark chocolate in a small saucepan or in the microwave with 30-second intervals. I used Alter Eco Blackout Chocolate, which is gluten-free, dairy-free, and soy-free.
To the eggs, pour in the melted chocolate, 2 tablespoons of strong decaf coffee (not caffeinated, or you’ll be bouncing off the walls), and 1/3 cup of palm shortening. Blend until the consistency of a thick sauce, about 3 minutes, then drizzle in 2 teaspoons of raw honey. Mix for 1 minute more before evenly dividing it between 4 6-ounce ramekins.
Let chill for at least 2 hours (preferably longer) before serving. Top with a dollop of coconut cream and/or fresh fruit to serve.
What dessert is your weakness? Leave me a comment on Facebook and let me know!
Tags: baking, biscotti, chocolate, chocolate mousse, cookies, dairy-free, delicious, dessert, Gather, gluten-free, healthy, paleo
April 28, 2013
Hi everyone! Wondering why nothing’s been posted in the past few days?
Well, I was on a trip with my school’s music ensembles to Six Flags. Fun? Yes. I went on the ride pictured below, Batwing, with my friends—it was pretty awesome. I think I screamed the entire time.
So was healthy food available? Unless you consider a double bacon cheeseburger and fries nutritious, uh, no. I am unbelievably happy to be in contact with real food again.
OK, I know what you’re thinking: that’s not real food!
I wish. Although I don’t recommend eating brownies every day, these are about as close to nutritionally sound as you can get. Save a little room after dinner and allow yourself a moist, fudgy treat.
To ZipList this recipe, click here.
First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line an 8 x 8 baking sheet with parchment paper, then grease with coconut oil. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP. I have made brownies too many times to count, and I’ve learned the hard way that if you don’t effectively prepare the pan, you’re going to get a big crumbly mess. Please spare yourself from the extra cleanup.
In a small saucepan, melt 4 ounces of dark chocolate over low heat. I used about 3.5 ounces (one bar) of Green’s Organics 85% Dark Chocolate and .5 ounces (one square) of Ghiradelli 100% Baking Chocolate, but feel free to use any chocolate between the 70% and 100% cacao mass range.
While the chocolate melts, puree 2 ripe bananas in the food processor until smooth and the consistency of pancake batter, about 3 minutes. Set aside for later use.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat 3 eggs on medium (for me, about setting 6) until light and airy, about 4 minutes. Then, gently pour in 1/4 cup of palm shortening (I buy Spectrum—you can get it at Whole Foods), 1/4 cup of refined coconut oil, 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla, and 2 tablespoons of raw honey. Mix until combined, about 3 minutes. It may seem a little clumpy, but fear not!
Scoop in the melted chocolate with a spatula, and mix for 1 or 2 minutes longer. Once combined, add in 1 cup of blanched almond flour, 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda, and a pinch of salt. Mix until thick and homogeneous, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Pour your batter into the readied pan and smooth with a spatula to evenly distribute. Top with the pureed bananas and swirl with a toothpick, if you like.
Bake until a toothpick comes out clean in the center, about 20 minutes. If you’re like me and you like crunchy corners and tops, broil on low for an additional 3 to 4 minutes. Don’t go overboard, or you will have desert-dry brownies.
Immediately upon removing from the oven, dust the tops with about a tablespoon of raw cacao powder. Allow to rest in the pan for 30 minutes before flipping onto a cutting board, slicing, and serving.
YUM. Nothing like a brownie, eh?
What dessert should I try next? Leave me a comment on Facebook and let me know!
Tags: baking, bananas, brownies, chocolate, dairy-free, delicious, dessert, gluten-free, healthy, paleo