19 ene. 2018

Paleo Bread

What to do when your dad brings you a big butternut squash and you are tired of making pumpkin soup? I know I said butternut squash and pumpkin in the same sentence and there's a difference between pumpkin and butternut squash but we all call them pumpkins in Spain...I mean, they kind of taste exactly the same (some pumpkin experts out there, am I wrong?). Well, no offense to all the pumpkin soup lovers, it's really comforting and so perfect for those cold winter days but when I have A LOT of pumpkin can't help but try some kitchen experiments...and this is how this Paleo Bread came to life!
I thought it was a good opportunity to make a rather savory recipe for the blog and keep my sweet tooth under control. Truth is I never made paleo bread before but after doing a little research with the help of my sister (which is the best assistant ever!) to know what kind of ingredients are allowed in the Paleo diet I can finally share with you my first ever paleo bread, inspired by the one served at Flax & Kale; one of my favorite flexitarian restaurants in the city (and one that is very popular on Instagram).
This bread is really tasty, so perfect to prepare an avo toast topped with chili flakes, sprouted greens and hemp seeds, or to enjoy with any of your favorite spreads; it goes well with coconut butter, tahini, etc. But my favorite spread to go with this bread is my homemade sun-dried tomato paté, so yummy!
I ate the last lice this morning simply toasted cuase it's super tasty au naturel, hihgly recommend you to toast it because the almond flour used in this bread releases all its delicious nutty aroma.
I'm planning on doing a vegan version of this recipe in the near future, so stay tuned!

Paleo Bread
(makes 1 loaf)

350 g/12.3 oz almond flour.
200 g/7 oz grated pumpkin.
250 g/8.8 oz grated zucchini.
80 ml/1/3 cup coconut oil.
4 free-range eggs.
2 sun-dried tomato, finely chopped.
1 tablespoon chia seeds.
1 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar.
1/2 teaspoon baking soda.
1/2 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt.
1 tablespoon dried basil leaves.
Optional add-ins:
1 teaspoon garlic powder.
1/2 teaspoon turmeric.
Pumpkin seeds, to sprinkle on top.

Preheat oven to 170 º C (338 ºF), lightly grease an 11 cm wide x 25 cm long loaf tin (4.3-in x 9.8-in) with coconut oil (or nonstick cooking spray) and line the bottom and sides with parchment paper.
I recommend to remove the excess moisture of the grated pumpkin and zucchini using a fine mesh strainer, it doesn't have to be extra drained but simply press down the grated fresh a little bit.
Combine the pumpkin, zucchini, coconut oil, eggs and apple cider vinegar in a medium mixing bowl.
In a separate bowl stir together the almond flour, chia seeds, baking soda, salt, and basil, using a wire whisk. Also add the optional add-ins.
Add the wet mixture into the dry mixture and finally fold in the chopped sundried tomatoes.
Let the batter rest for 10-15 minutes and then pour into the prepared loaf tin.
Sprinkle the top with the pumpkin seeds and bake for 90 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Remove the bread from the oven and let it cool in the pan for 30-45 minutes approximately. 
Cool completely on a wire rack and serve au natural or with smashes avocado, chili flakes, hemp seeds and sprouted greens. Goes really well with any nut butter or vegetable spread (like sun-dried tomato paté). 
Store in an airtight container at room temperature or refrigerated. Remember it tastes wonderfully good when toasted!

4 ene. 2018

Gluten Free Oat Pancakes

Happy New Year everybody! I'm a few days late but it's still the first week of the year. So many days, weeks and months to plan big things for the blog, to find inspiration and never stop growing. I decided not to make New Year's resolutions long ago because we tend to set the bar too high, and when we can't accomplish certain goals we end up frustrated. So no big resolutions for me, I try to take it day by day no matter if the calendar marks the ending of a year.
Of course we all want to become a better version of ourselves, to travel more, do more exercise, stop worrying too much, eat healthier, switch off the phone and spend more time with our family and friends, etc. But will all of this happen this year? I really don't know, but I know for sure that I should remind myself (all of us, actually) to never stop dreaming and work hard every single day...yeah, shit will happen more than often and things won't go as planned many times but that shouldn't stop me.
Wanna know some silly little resolutions I made this year? Here we go!
1- Read, for once and for all, Anna Karenina (and read more classic literature).
2- Finally (finally!!!) wear all the new lipsticks I own befofe buying new ones...and I do have an indecent amount of never-used lippies (it's an addiction, I know!).
3- Make éclairs for my sister since she's been begging me for a long time. lol

Damn, I'm writting too much and I don't want you to fall asleep or bore you with my rambling. Let's talk about these fluffy gluten-free pancakes which were my first breakfast of the year!
So it's kind of a tradition at home to have pancakes for breakfast on january 1st, of course I love to eat pancakes the rest of the year but since I'm always on a rush I usually have overnight oats, an avo toast or a PB&J toast with a cappuccino...and I leave the pancakes for the weekends or festive days (as long as I don't have to cook a new recipe for the blog early in the morning to get good natural lighting, duh).
Like I said these pancakes are completely gluten-free and vegan, wholesome, satisfying and really fluffy which is something I always miss when I taste gf or hearty pancakes...they tend to be quite dense or chewy, not my kinda pancake!
Hope you all had a great Christmas time and a good start into the new year. I wish you nothing but awesome things awaiting you in 2018. :-)

Gluten Free Oat Pancakes
(yield: 8 pancakes approx.)

1 cup oat flakes.
1 cup buckwheat flour.
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon.
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder.
A pinch of pink Himalayan salt.
1 flax "egg": 1 tbsp ground flax seeds + 3 tbsp water.
1 tablespoon agave or maple syrup.
300 ml (1 cup plus 2 teaspoons) of your favorite plant-based milk (I used oat milk).
- Toppings:
Baby bananas.
Tahini (sesame paste).
Cacao nibs.
Shredded coconut.
Mixed red berries.
Maple syrup.

In a small bowl stir together the flaxmeal and water with a fork and let it rest for 10 minutes to thicken.
Prepare the baby bananas and all the toppings (if you need to wash your berries, for example) at this point so they are ready right after cooking your pancakes, therefore you won't have to reheat them. Slice the bananas in half lengthwise and spread a generous amount of tahini paste, set aside.
While the flax egg is resting mix the oat flakes, buckwheat flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl using a wire whisk.
In a medium separate bowl whisk together the milk and agave (or maple) syrup and stir in the flax egg.
Add the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated and no lumps are visible. Let the batter rest for 15 minutes.
Lightly grease a frying pan with coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil and once the pan is hot pour around 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake.
Cook 2 minutes approximately on each side, until small bubbles appear on the surface and the pancakes get a golden brown color.
Serve the pancakes while they are still warm with the bananas, the rest of the toppings and a generous drizzle of pure maple syrup.

19 dic. 2017

Linzer Cookies

Christmas day is right around the corner and I couldn't let this week pass without sharing another festive recipe, even though I wanted it to be published a few days earlier but been recipe testing like crazy these days (plus doing a lot of xmas shopping too, of course).
I made vegan linzer cookies back in 2013 but couldn't share the full recipe on the blog because it was an exclusive collaboration with Yummly.com but it's never too late to treat you guys with a renewed and improved version. There's still plenty of time to prepare these cuties and maybe give them as a homemade gift to your family or some friends, to that sexy neighbor (not my case, unfortunately) or simply to enjoy with a warm cup of tea while you are wrapped like a burrito in your favorite blanket while watching christmassy movies.
Either way, you will love these linzer cookies cause they are deliciously spiced and I'm sure you'll have to make a second batch really quick. If you have kids let them help you cut out the shapes, it's super easy if you have a linzer cookie cutter (I bought mine on Amazon, this one).
You can fill the cookies with whatever jam or preserve you fancy but I recommend to use wildberry jam (or even better, homemade jam!).
Now it's time to wish you all a very merry Christmas and hope you enjoy your holidays, get some nice presents and fill your belly with the most delicious food.

Linzer Cookies
(yield: 15-20 sandwiches)

1 1/2 cups organic all-purpose flour.
1/4 cup hazelnut meal.
1 tablespoon cornstarch.
A pinch of salt.
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla powder.
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon.
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger.
1/4 teaspoon baking soda.
3/4 cup non-hydrogenated margarine/vegan butter.
1/4 cup coconut sugar.
Wildberry jam, to fill the cookies.
Powdered coconut milk (or organic powdered sugar), for dusting.

In your food processor grind the hazelnuts until a flour forms, you will need 1/4 cup of ground hazelnuts and even though it won't look as fine as almond meal don't worry, it won't affect the texture of the cookies.
In a large mixing bowl and using a hand whisk stir together all the dry ingredients (except the coconut sugar) until just combined.
Place the margarine and the sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer and beat until soft and fluffy. Add in the dry mixture (starting on low speed) and mix until combined.
Flatten the dough into a disc, wrap it in plastic wrap and let it set in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. I highly recommend to make the dough the day before and let it harden in the refrigerator overnight, this way it'll be way more firm and thus easier to cut out.
Divide the dough into two equal portions and roll out on a surface covered with a piece of parchment paper which must have the same size of your baking sheet. The rolled dough should be 3 to 6 mm thick.
Cut out using your favorite linzer cookie cutters, remove dough scraps from around the cookies but don't remove the center pieces yet. Repeat with any remaining dough and remember you must have the same number of tops and bottoms.
Carefully lift the parchment paper to transfer the cookies to a baking sheet and let it harden in the freezer for 30 minutes. This step is crucial to make sure cookies keep their shape once they are in the oven.
Once the cookies are very firm remove the center pieces (don't discard them! they can be baked too), distribute the cookies equally between one or two baking sheets, depending on how big your cookie cutters are. Bake for 10-12 minutes until light golden.
Let the cookies cool in the sheet for 5 minutes and transfer to a cooling rack until completely cold.
Spread about 1 teaspoon of jam over each cookie bottom. Dust the tops with the powdered coconut milk or organic powdered sugar and place them directly over the jam-covered bottoms.
Store cookies in an airtight container.