I usually don’t drink anything other than coffee, tea, and water. But once in a while I get these cravings for chocolate, or something sweet. Being the health nut that I am, I adapted a recipe I found online and made this healthy hot chocolate to warm up on this grey, Lima afternoon.
I several used Peruvian ingredients such as maca powder that has many health benefits like regulating hormones for example. The organic cocoa and the coconut oil are from the Amazon. Coconut oil is a natural lubricant for your body, especially joints and muscles, while cocoa powder is a great antioxidant.
Turmeric is originally from India and is a great detoxifier for the liver and anti inflammatory.
So there really is not reason to not have a cup of this delicious hot chocolate!
For one cup, you will need:
1 cup almond milk
1.5-2 tbsp organic cocoa powder
1tbsp maple syrup (to taste)
1/2 tbsp coconut oil
1/8 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp maca powder
A pinch of which ever you prefer (or all): ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg
Heat the milk, coconut oil and maple syrup (in a saucepan or in the microwave). Remove it from the heat before it starts to boil. Whisk the other ingredients in and enjoy!
Top with grated chocolate.
As a kid, when I would bake with my mom, she would always tell me: “Take out all the ingredients before you start baking. That way you know if there is anything missing and you can go buy it”.
Well… even if I always hear her telling me this… I don’t have enough counter space. So I usually do the dry ingredients first and then the wet ingredients.
This time, I was missing most of the ingredients for my recipe. I definitely did not feel like going to the store, and so I started using the alternatives I already knew.
I am really happy with the turnout of this vegan, gluten-free cake. The texture came out great and the taste was heavenly ehehe. Just a warning: it is pretty filling because of the quinoa, flaxseeds and avocado!
So here it is for you to make as well!
Recipe modified from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe: http://www.melskitchencafe.com/decadent-chocolate-cake/
- 2 cups cooked and cooled quinoa
- 1/3 cup almond milk
- 4 tablespoons of ground flaxseed
- 12 tablespoons of water
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup avocado, puree
- 1 1/4 cups panela (raw, unprocessed sugar)
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Chocolate, passion fruit and mango jam (bought at the Choco Museo in Peru)
- Chopped almonds (optional)
- Cook the quinoa in water and let it cool. 1/2 cup dried quinoa will make about 2 cups cooked. Make a little extra just in case.
- Preheat the oven at 350F or 176C. Lightly grease two round cake pans (I used coconut oil for this).
- In a measuring cup, combine the flaxseeds and water together. Mix well.
- Using a blender or food processor, combine the milk, flaxseeds, and vanilla. Then add the cooked quinoa and avocado and blend until the mixture is smooth (and it will be slightly green!).
- In a large bowl, combine the cocoa, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Pour the mixture from then blender into the large bowl and mix well with a wooden spoon until all the ingredients are combined.
- Pour the batter into the cake pans.
- Cook for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out smooth.
- Remove the cake from the over and after about 20 minutes, take it out of the pans and let it cool completely.
- Cover with chocolate, passion fruit, and mango jam and with chopped almonds if desired.
I have been mainly posting sweets and breakfast recipes on here… So today, I decided to change that trend.
I know there has been a whole thrill with the healthy bowls… I haven’t made many, but let’s face it, they are not only delicious… but oh so pretty! ahah.
Sometimes, you can just grab whatever is at hand and create something beautifully delicious, like this “Green Goddess Quinoa Bowl” for instance. Oh and its a hot bowl and I love it!
Here is what you need:
- half an avocado
- 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
- 1 artichoke heart (cooked and diced)
- 1/2 leek
- 1-2 handful of chopped spinach
- 2 teaspoons of turmeric
- 2 garlic cloves
- coconut oil (or other oil of preference)
- 1/2 lime
- salt and pepper (to taste)
- sesame seeds (optional)
- 2 tablespoons of plain greek yogurt
- Heat oil in a pot and cook the leek until soft.
- Add in the turmeric and minced garlic. Once the garlic is golden, add in the chopped spinach.
- When the spinach has reduced, add in the quinoa to heat it. Mix well so the flavours blend together.
- Put the quinoa and veggies into a bowl and top with lime juice, avocado, artichoke, yogurt and sprouts.
So. Eating healthy does not necessarily mean you cannot have anything sweet, because sweets can be healthy AND delicious (without that intense coconut oil taste, or without having a grainy texture). When winter comes along in Canada, this usually this means spicy desserts, hot chocolate, tea, coffee and anything that can give you that warm feeling.
Although Christmas celebrations aren’t my favourite, anything with chai spices (ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, etc) are good at any time of the year.
Inspired by Feasting on Fruit’s recipe, here is my version of Chai Spice Bread.
P.S. I absolutely loved using the dates infused with the chai tea and will definitely apply this to other breads I make in the future, thank you!
12 pitted medjool dates
1 cup prepared chai tea
1/2 cup almond or chestnut flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup nondairy milk
2 tsps baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 cup of chopped almonds, pecans, chestnuts, etc. (Optional)
1.5-2 cups water
2 Cinnamon sticks
2 inches fresh ginger
5-7 cardamom buds
1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1.5 tbsp black tea
1 tbsp butter
3/4 cup icing sugar
A few drops of vanilla
1 1/2 tsp ginger powder
1 tsp almond milk
- Preheat oven to 350F/176C
- To prepare your own chai tea, infuse the following ingredients together: fresh ginger, cardamom, cloves, peppercorn, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, black tea. You can also add star anis, but I am not a fan and omitted it.
- Pour the chai tea over the dates and soak for 10 minutes
- Blend the chai tea, dates, lemon juice, non-dairy milk, and vanilla until smooth.
- In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients and mix lightly.
- Add the date mixture to the dry ingredients and combine.
- Grease a bread pan or line it with parchment paper.
- Pour the mixture into the pan.
- Bake at 350F for 30-35minutes, or until a toothpick comes out dry.
- Combine all the icing ingredients and adjust according to the desired taste and texture. Depending on the ginger powder you have, you might want to add less (if it has a very strong flavour) or more (if the powder you have is not very spicy)
- Remove from the oven, let the bread cool about 15minutes and remove it from the pan.
- Let the bread cool completely before adding the icing and the chopped almonds.
So, this was my first try at a gluten-free/vegan dessert and I must say, it was Amazing. I actually searched for a recipe to make and got a sudden urge for pie. But… baking a pie involves so much flour and usually a little bit of a mess. So I found this recipe which looks really delicious, but I didn’t have the coconut cream to make it nor the pecans, and I also had so many strawberries I needed to use. So I did what I usually do best, I modified and adapted.
This pie is not really quite like the pies North Americans are used to, but it has a crunchy (and super healthy) crust. We absolutely loved it and will definitely make it again.
I thought of mixing the strawberries with chia seeds rather than cornstarch, has anyone every done this before?
Leave any comments below if you make this recipe 🙂
For the pie crust:
– Coconut oil (to grease your pie dish)
– 1 cup raw almonds
– 1 cup dates, pitted (microwave in a bit of water to soften them)
– 3/4 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened)
– 2 tsp raw honey (or maple syrup).
For the strawberries:
– 4 cups fresh strawberries, diced
– 3 tbsp cornstarch
– 3/4 cup of raw sugar (unprocessed)
- Grease a regular sized pie dish or pan (9.5inch diameter)
- In a bowl, combine the strawberries, cornstarch, and sugar together until the fruits are evenly coated. Let sit for 10 minutes.
- To make the crust, blend all the ingredients together in a food processor until smooth. (A blender can also do, but I would suggested blending almonds first and add other ingredients one at the time).
- Press the mixture/dough into the bottom and sides of the pan as evenly as possible.
- Pour the strawberries over the crust
- Bake at 350F/176C for about 15 minutes.
As active people, it is important we get our proteins. Well, let’s be honest, there is nothing healthier (and tastier) than making your own granola bars!
So, as a berry lover who doesn’t get enough berries here in Peru, I inspired myself from SallysBakingAddiction recipe and made these bars from dried cranberries and blueberries. There is really nothing easier to make, no baking required either!
1/3 cup chopped almonds
1/3 cup chopped cashews
3/4 cup oats
2 tablespoons+2 teaspoons dried cranberries
2 tablespoons+2 teaspoons dried blueberries
1/4 cup chocolate chips
2 tablespoons chia seeds
3 tablespoons shredded coconut
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup peanut butter
Place a parchment paper in a baking pan (I used a round one but square or rectangle is definitely better!). Leave extra paper so you can remove the bars easily.
Chop the nuts the size you want (or use a processor). Combine all dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Set aside.
Warm the peanut butter, and mix it with the honey. Pour the mixture into the dry ingredients and mix until everything is well coated. Scoop the mix into the baking pan and evenly flat it out. I used a spatula to really press it down and tighly into the pan.
Place the bars in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Remove from the pan and cut into the size you want. You can keep them at room temperature, in the fridge or in the freezer.
So I got my wisdom teeth pulled out… And that was something. Jaw bruises, stitches, and all that comes with it. I only got one out at a time because they were both the bottom teeth that needed to come out. Well that was double the annoyance of dealing with post-tooth extraction. Oh and translating a cookbook at the same time, which was only tempting ahaha.
What did make it better, was the yummy smoothies I had to make and drink with a straw (hihihi). I had to get creative and make smoothies that were not only delicious, but also that were filling and nutritious.
Green Energy Smoothie
Yields: 2 extra large glasses
2 handfuls spinach
1/3 cup strawberries
1/3 cup pineapple
1/3 cup mango
1 scoop protein powder of your choice
1 tablespoon coconut flakes
1 teaspoon chia seeds
1 1/2 cup of coconut water (or milk, or water, or orange juice)
Blend all the fruits and vegetables with the liquid until smooth . You may also add ice if you like your smoothies very cold.
Sprinkle with chia seeds and coconut flakes.
I never add a sweetener to my juices or smoothies. However, maple syrup, honey, or agave are all good and healthy alternatives.