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
April 16, 2013
I made a list once of a bunch of the things I wanted to do in life. What was #1?
Visit the Nutella factory in Alba, Italy. Yes, it exists, and it’s apparently very hard to get into.
This chocolate-hazelnut spread is pretty awesome, but it’s also loaded with garbage. A two tablespoon serving has 21 grams of sugar, and chances are, you’re gonna want to eat way more than that. (My friends and I could easily polish off an entire jar in one sitting.)
These cookies, on the other hand, are baked with real, wholesome ingredients while capturing the Nutella-essence everyone loves. But be warned, though—they’re addictive, and you may want to eat the whole batch. Instead, share them with someone you love!
You can ZipList the recipe here.
A special thanks to Tammy Credicott and Adriana Harlan for the recipe inspiration!
To make these little guys, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a small bowl, combine 1 cup of hazelnut meal flour, 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, and a pinch of salt. Sift in 1/2 cup of coconut flour and 1/4 cup of raw cacao powder, then stir to incorporate.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat 1 egg, 3 tablespoons of melted refined coconut oil, 2-3 tablespoons of raw honey (depending on how sweet you want it), 1 tablespoon of coconut sugar, 2 tablespoons of water, and 1/2 teaspoon of unfiltered apple cider vinegar on low for 2 to 3 minutes.
Pour in half of the hazelnut flour mixture and mix on low until combined. When no more clumps of flour remain, add the rest of the dry ingredients and mix for an additional 2 to 3 minutes on low. The dough should be mainly dry while remaining a little sticky.
Scoop up about a tablespoon of the batter and, with your hands, gently squeeze it until it holds together and has a spherical shape. Place on the parchment paper and lightly press down in the center with your thumb. Repeat with the remaining dough. You should have between 10 and 15 cookies total.
Bake in the oven until the tops begin to turn brown and the cookie is firm to the touch, about 13 to 15 minutes. Allow to cool on the parchment for at least half an hour before frosting. Do not add the filling right away, or your cookie will literally crumble.
Speaking of the filling, you should make it while the cookies cool. In a food processor, crush 1/2 cup of hazelnuts until a paste forms, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and add 1 tablespoon of refined coconut oil, then process for an additional minute or two.
Scoop the hazelnut “butter” into a microwave-safe bowl and add 2 tablespoons of refined coconut oil and 2.5 ounces of dark chocolate. Microwave in 30-second intervals until melted, about 1 minute and 30 seconds total.
Let the filling cool in the fridge until the consistency of butter, about 45 minutes. If it hardens too much, simply allow it to come to room temperature and stir every few minutes to soften.
Once the cookies and the filling are at ideal temperatures, fill the center of each cookie with an ample amount of chocolate-hazelnut goodness.
When filled, let the cookies sit out for at least an hour so the gooey center hardens a bit, then serve alongside a glass of coconut milk, nut milk, or raw grass-fed cow milk. These will keep in a cool, dry place for a couple of days or in the freezer for three months.
…but no way will they last that long.
What is your favorite chocolate dessert? Leave me a comment on Facebook and let me know!
Tags: chocolate, cookies, dairy-free, dessert, gluten-free, healthy, Nutella, paleo
April 9, 2013
Desserts are undeniably delicious, and that’s that. I have always had a sweet tooth, and once in a while, I just want something sugary and comforting. (Don’t we all?)
Luckily, this Chocolate Chip Banana Cake is filled with healthier, more wholesome ingredients, like almond flour, fresh fruit, and pasture-raised eggs. Best of all, it contains only little natural sweetener, so you can enjoy your treat without having a massive blood sugar crash afterwards.
To ZipList the cake recipe, click here.
To begin, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a 9-inch circular cake pan with parchment paper. Grease it heavily with melted coconut oil.
I cannot stress enough how important this step is. If you neglect to take these protective measures, your cake will undoubtedly stick, even if you have a non-stick pan. The resulting mess and drama are NOT worth it!
Puree 2 1/2 ripe bananas in a food processor or blender until completely smooth, about 3 minutes. The bananas should be clump-less and resemble a pancake batter. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine 3 cups of blanched almond flour, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Mix together with your hands, taking care to break up any big clumps of almond flour.
In a smaller mixing bowl, whisk together 3 large eggs, 1/3 cup melted refined coconut oil, 1 1/2 tablespoons of vanilla extract, 1 tablespoon of unfiltered apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon of water, and 2 tablespoons of raw honey. When well incorporated, add to the bowl with the almond flour and stir with a spatula.
Gently fold in the banana puree into the rest of the batter, then mix in a little less than 1 cup of chocolate chips.
As a huge chocoholic, I’m very particular about what kind of chocolate I use in my baking. For this cake, I used Enjoy Life’s mini chocolate chips—and although they do contain some sugar, they’re pretty much the only widely available chocolate chips that are completely gluten, soy, and dairy-free. Alternatively, you can use 6 ounces of chopped chocolate or 1 cup of cacao nibs…but whatever you do, don’t use too much! This is a banana cake, not a chocolate cake.
Scoop the batter into the prepared pan and spread to get as even of a layer as possible. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean in the center and the top is golden brown, about 40 minutes. Let cool in the pan for at least an hour (preferably longer) before serving and resist the urge to immediately eat the cake.
This cake is incredible plain, but it tastes even better with my easy cashew (yes, cashew) frosting. And—bonus—it can be made completely vegan!
To ZipList the frosting recipe, click here.
The first step is the most important: put 1 cup of raw cashews in a small saucepan, add just enough water to completely submerge, and simmer on low heat with the lid on. You really should soak the cashews for at least 2 or 3 hours, but if you’re in a hurry to eat your cake, 1 hour will do—just make sure the nuts are soft to the touch.
Next, pour the cashews and their water into a blender. Add 1/2 a ripe banana, 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract, 2 tablespoons of raw honey, 2 tablespoons of coconut sugar, and 2 tablespoons of your milk of choice. I used the raw cow’s milk my family buys from a local farm, but you can use almond, cashew, hemp, or even coconut milk instead. Blend until completely smooth, about 3 to 4 minutes.
Transfer the cashew mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer. With the whisk attachment, beat on high (for me, alternating between settings 8 and 10) until significantly lighter, about 10 minutes. Put the bowl with the frosting in the refrigerator to cool for about half an hour before serving atop or alongside the cake.
Now, you can have your cake and eat it too! (I know, I know…bad pun…)
What dessert should I try and recreate next? Leave me a comment on Facebook and let me know!
Tags: bananas, cake, chocolate, delicious, dessert, gluten-free, healthy, paleo