22 jul. 2017

Piña Colada Nice Cream

I wonder if I will turn on the oven this summer...honestly I miss baking cookies and loaf cakes but this heat makes it quite a challenge. Plus my body is constantly asking me for refreshing things such as smoothies, juices, tons of watermelon and of course ice creams! I could make ice creams every single day but there's a thing called self-control that I should practice more often (ha!).
So this week I wanted to share with all my fellow ice cream fanatics a delicious recipe with lots of good tropical vibes: Piña Colada Nice Cream. It's creamy, completely plant-based, gluten-free and healthy (the rum is totally optional, but who can say 'no' to a slightly boozy ice cream?! Not me!). I love the coconut and pineapple combo, it instantly makes me feel like I'm at some fancy beach club or an exotic paradise. Whenever I want to bring summer into my home I prepare a piña colada smoothie or this nice cream.
What is your favorite ice cream flavor, btw? Or what kind of refreshing treat you enjoy the most when it's hot? I'd love to read about your preferences and get some inspiration from you.
I'm going to keep this post short (and sweet) as I still have so many things to do right before the week ends. Hope you like this recipe as much as I did, and if you still want some more Piña Colada goodness check out these pops I made last year.
Happy weekend everybody!

Piña Colada Nice Cream
(3 servings approx.)

3 bananas, chopped and frozen.
3/4 cup (130g) fresh pineapple.
1 can full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight.
1/3 cup (30 g) shredded coconut.
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla powder.
1 1/2 tablespoons white rum(optional).
2 teaspoons cornstarch (or arrowroot powder).
1 to 2 tablespoons light agave syrup.
- Toppings:
Shredded coconut or coconut flakes.

- You can use canned pineapple though I prefer natural fresh pineapple to make it even more healthy.
- Do not discard the watery milk under the coconut cream. Store it in the fridge and use it to make smoothies. So yummy!
- The rum is optional, I've tasted both versions and they were all delicious.
- If your pineapple and bananas are at the optimum level of ripeness you won't need to use any sweetener. But as always, adjust the sweetness to your taste.

Scoop out the thick white cream from the can of coconut milk and put in your food processor with the rest of the ingredients. Process and stop a few times and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Taste and adjust the sweetness if needed.
Pour the mixture into an airtight shallow container and refrigerate for about 3-4 hours, the ice cream base needs to be very cold before churning.
Once very cold, churn the ice cream according to the manufacturer's instructions. I always have to freeze the bowl of my ice cream maker at least 24 hours before making the recipe and churn the mixture for 30 minutes.
Transfer the ice cream to the same container, cover the surface with plastic wrap, close and freeze until solid.
Homemade ice creams tend to be rock solid when frozen but do not panic, if you let it thaw at room temperature for 10-15 minutes (or more, if needed) it will become creamy and scoopable again.
Scoop the ice cream and serve with shredded coconut, toasted coconut flakes or your favorite toppings.

12 jul. 2017

Raw Vanilla Protein Truffles

The past few days have been crazy...in a negative way. It feels like I'm surrounded by bad karma, or is it a bad luck streak? Either way I just wanna get back to normal and feel some relief because it's been too much for me in just one week: a car crash (don't worry, I'm completely ok but can't say the same about my sister's car) finding a huge fat rat in the bathroom last night (haven't slept a single hour, btw) and other negative stuff...geez! 2017, have some mercy on me pretty please!
Anyway, let's keep positive. After all I'm alive, healthy and stronger each day; but all your positive vibes will be much appreciated. :-)
To sweeten things up I decided to make a variation of my energy bites and create something more fancy looking and delicious: vanilla protein truffles covered in vanilla-turmeric "white chocolate". They look quite decadent but the truth is that these little bites are pretty damn good for you, packed with protein and nutritious ingredients, healthy fats and an irresistible vanilla flavor. I just can't stop eating them, the coating tastes really good and has a delicate chocolate aroma thanks to the cacao butter.
Now I'm off to think about my next recipes while munching on these cuties, inspiration will come easier with a sweet taste in my mouth. 

Vanilla Protein Truffles
(yield: 22 balls approx.)

1 cup approximately/10 medjool dates.
3/4 cup raw blanched almonds.
3/4 cup raw cashews.
1 tablespoon chia seeds.
1/4 cup /1 scoop vegan vanilla protein powder.
1/2 to 1 tablespoon coconut oil.
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla powder.
- For the coating:
4 tablespoons melted cacao butter.
4 tablespoons agave syrup.
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla powder.
1/8 teaspoon spiced vanilla turmeric powder.
Dark chocolate, melted (optional).

- I recommend using soft medjool dates. If yours are quite dry soak them in warm water until tender.
- I measured the scoop of my protein powder and it's equivalent to 1/4 cup (baking measuring cups). Some scoops might have different sizes so use up to 1/4 cup of your favorite vanilla protein powder.
- Start by adding 1/2 tablespoon of coconut oil and if the batter is too dry or your food processor needs some help with the blending process increase the quantity to 1 tablespoon.
- The spiced vanilla turmeric powder is the one used to make the famous golden mylk (also known as turmeric latte).

Place the almonds, cashews and chia seeds in your food processor and pulse until a coarse flour forms.
Pit the dates and add them to the mixture with the rest of the ingredients. Process until a sticky ball of dough forms.
Using a measuring tablespoon scoop the mixture and roll into balls with your hands. You'll get 22 balls approximately.
Transfer to an airtight container in the freezer for 30 minutes approximately or until very firm and cold.
Meanwhile prepare the coating by stirring all the ingredients together until fully incorporated and pour it into a glass.
Dip half the batch of truffles into the vanilla glaze and transfer to a lined baking sheet until they are covered. Transfer to the freezer again and repeat the process.
Decorate with a drizzle of dark chocolate (optional step).
Store the truffles in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

29 jun. 2017

Creamy Almond Butter Pops

Have you noticed that your Instagram feed is full of popsicle recipes this week?! Well, I could say that I finally jumped on the popsicle bandwagon (#popsicleweek) but actually I made this recipe last week, though I didn't have time to share it with all of you until today. Better late than never they say, right?...plus there's always time to enjoy a creamy and delicious pop, especially now that we're well into summer and yours truly is madly addicted to ice creams, pops, frozen smoothies and watermelon gazpacho. Even though summer gives me low blood pressure and some days I feel a bit weak and sleepy it is still my favorite season. Don't even get me started about cute floral summer dresses and sandals...gosh, I love them so much!
So back to the recipe, these popsicles are really really good, deliciously creamy with a nice combo of cashews, almond butter and vanilla, of course! They are easy to make and will give you a good dose of energy thanks to its natural ingredients. I could eat them every day, perfect for a hot day when you want to treat yourself with something refreshing and sweet but a little more decadent than the regular ice pop. 
I highly recommend you to try the full combo: pops + chocolate coating + chopped nuts + cacao nibs = summer bliss!
Hope you are all having a wonderful summer filled with outdoor dinners, yummy ice creams and beach fun.

Creamy Almond Butter Pops
(yield: 6 pops approx.)

- For the pops:
11/2 cups cashews, soaked in water for 2 hours.
1 teaspoon pure vanilla powder.
2 tablespoons almond butter.
1/4 cup agave syrup.
1 cup full-fat coconut milk.
- For the chocolate coating:
1/4 cup unrefined coconut oil.
1/4 cup cocoa powder.
1 tablespoon maple syrup or agave syrup.
Chopped almonds.
Cacao nibs.
Shredded coconut.

Soak the cashews in water for about 2 hours, if your blender is powerful enough you won't need to soak them overnight. Drain them well.
Blend together all the ingredients (cashews, vanilla, almond butter, agave syrup and coconut milk) until completely smooth; you might need to stop and scrape down the sides of your blender jug a few times.
Pour the mixture into your preferred popsicle molds, insert a wooden stick into each one and transfer to the freezer until solid, at least for 4 hours.
- For the chocolate coating:
In a small saucepan over low heat stir together all the ingredients for the coating until a smooth and glossy chocolate sauce forms. Transfer to a glass and let it cool until it reaches room temperature.
Dip each pop into the chocolate sauce and carefully transfer them to a plate or freezer-safe baking sheet, let them set in the freezer for a couple minutes and repeat the process until all the pops are covered with a second chocolate coat. While the second coat is still soft sprinkle on top chopped almonds, cacao nibs, shredded coconut or whatever you fancy (chocolate shavings, other nuts, etc).
Store in the freezer and let them thaw a little bit at room temperature before serving.