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!
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.
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.
Ginger Icing 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.
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.
For all of those chocolate lovers, but also health lovers (like me), here is a recipe I have modified from SimplyRecipes. I have used only organic chocolate and chocolate chips (70%). I have also cut down on the sugar, and replace butter with coconut oil.
Para todos los amantes de chocolates, pero también de salud (como yo), comparto una receta que he modificado de SimplyRecipes. Use solamente chocolate orgánico y mini gotas de chocolate amargo (70%). También le corte el azúcar y reemplace la mantequilla por aceite de coco.
Makes 1 loaf (9x5inch bread mould) Rinde 1 pan (molde de 23x13cm)
2 cups grated zucchini (from about a pound and a half of zucchini). 2 tazas de zucchini rallado
3/4 cup all purpose flour. 3/4 taza de harina
1/4 cup unsweetened, organic cocoa 1/4 taza de cacao orgánico sin azúcar
1 teaspoon baking soda 1 cucharita de bicarbonato
1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 cucharita de sal
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 cucharita de canela
1/2 cups granulated white sugar 1/2 taza de azúcar (panela)
1 egg 1 huevo
6 tablespoons of coconut oil, melted 6 cucharadas de aceite de coco, derretido
1/4 teaspoon almond extract 1/4 cucharita de extracto de almendras
1/4 cup of bitter mini chocolate chips 1/4 taza de mini gotas de chocolate amargo 70%
Preheat oven at 350F. Prepare your mold as you prefer (butter and flour, or spray, or parchemin paper). Calentar el horno a 175C. Preparar el molde como guste (con mantequilla y harina, un spray, o con papel manteca).
Grate the zucchini, and make sure you get as much water out. You can use a strainer, or I just squeezed it in my hands a few times. Rallar el zucchini, y sacar todo el agua. Puede usar un colgador, pero resulta más eficaz de usar las manos.
In a bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together: flour, cacao, salt, baking soda, cinnamon. En un bol, mezclar los ingredientes secos juntos: la harina, el cacao, la sal, el bicarbonato y la canela.
In another bowl, beat the egg and sugar together until they are smooth. Then add the coconut oil and the almond extract. Continue beating for another 30 seconds and add the grated zucchini. En otro bol, batir el huevo y el azúcar juntos hasta que sea cremoso. Luego, aggrega el aceite de coco derretido y el extracto de almendra. Sigue mezclando unos 30 segundos más y aggrega el zucchini rallado.
Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ones. Do this in three parts and blend all ingredients together. Lentamente aggrega los ingredientes secos a los mojados. Haz esto en 3 partes y mezcla bien todos los ingredientes.
Put the batter into your mould and stick in the oven for 45-50mins. Poner la mezcla en el molde, y cocinar más o menos 45-50minutos.
Wait about 20 minutes for the bread to cool down, remove it from the mould, and place it on a rack until it cools completely. Espera más o menos 20 minutos para que el pan se enfríe, y sacarlo del molde. Dejar enfriar completamente.
Cooking tip: Always check you bread a little before the required time because all ovens are different. Use a toothpick to see if it is ready: you want it to come out dry. Also, remember that when you take the bread out of the oven, it continues to cook.
Tip: Siempre mirar al pan antes del tiempo sugerido porque todos los hornos son diferentes. Usa un mondadientes para ver si está listo: quieres que salga seco, sin masa. También, acuérdate que cuando sacas el molde del horno, su pan sigue cocinando.