22 sept. 2016

Super Berry Smoothie Bowl

This colorful smoothie bowl is packed with lots of antioxidants, nutrients and vitamins to make you feel better, healthy and energized! After last week's birthday feast and some lazy time I must get back on track with my workout routine and stay away from big chocolate cakes until my sister's birthday (that's in november). But man I really enjoyed my birthday dinner and the huge chocolate coconut layer cake that I baked myself. Yep, I baked my own bday cake for the third consecutive year but turns out my favorite bakery shop closed (*insert sad kitty emoji here*) and I'm too picky when it comes to cakes plus the other bakery shops in town have a too-average cake catalogue...so Cinnamon Girl handled the situation like a pro! I won't publish the recipe of my birthday cake since it was a slightly adapted version of Fran Costigan's Vegan Chocolate Coconut Whipped Cream Cake. I've made several recipes from her cookbook 'Vegan Chocolate' before (which you can find them here on the blog) and I didn't feel like doing a 'copy and paste' thing because the recipe is already perfectly explained in the book and also because I think it's also a question of respecting someone's hard work, you know what I mean? Buuut, I will share some nice pics of my cake cause obviously I had to take some shots!
Okay, back to this smoothie bowl: it tastes super good, so fruity, satisfying and fulfilling. It makes a great breakfast but I also love to eat a big bowl after my workout sessions in the afternoon.
You can try different toppings and make your own favorite version, like adding chopped nuts, a dollop of almond or peanut butter, shelled hemp...the possibilities are endless!

Receta en español próximamente en la web de El Granero Integral.

Super Berry Smoothie Bowl
(Yield: 2 servings)

- For the chia pudding:
2 tablespoons chia seeds.
3/4 cup oat milk.
1 tablespoon agave syrup.
- For the berry smoothie:
1 ripe banana.
3/4 cup fresh blueberries.
1 cup fresh raspberries.
1/4 cup oat milk.
2 tablespoons berry powder.*
- Toppings:
Oat flakes.
A small handful of mixed fresh berries.
Coconut flakes.

* Notes:
- Choose your favorite sweetener: agave, coconut or maple syrup. All of them are good options.
- I normally add two tablespoons of organic berry powder made of rosehip berries, maqui berry and acerola cherry. You can use any kind of berry powder (açaí powder, for example) or your go-to protein powder, this one preferably berry or vanilla flavored.
- Adjust the quantity of milk, if needed, to get the consistency that fits your taste.

In a small mixing bowl stir with a fork all the ingredients for the chia pudding until well combined. Let it set in a sealed container or jar refrigerated overnight.
Blend all the smoothie ingredients using a high-speed blender or food processor, blend until smooth and combined.
Mix the chia pudding and smoothie in your breakfast bowl and top with oat flakes, fresh berries and coconut flakes.

13 sept. 2016

Healthy Coconut Bon Bons

Looks like getting back to my blogging routine is taking me more time than I wish/expected but last-minute errands keep popping up. Taking a break from time to time and breaking out from our daily routine is good but I like (and need) to have an organized agenda.
Being a food blogger is no joke, guys. There are weeks that I get a little stressed out but if I relax for two weeks or so and I don't write new recipes then I get grumpy cause I feel like I'm behind on my blogging tasks. Owell, it's been a long and crazy week, excuse me for being so brief but this tired lady needs some rest and a well deserved couch+tv+chai latte time.
But before I go let me introduce you to my coconut bon bons! These cuties are so delicious, like really really delicious and you can't have just one, you know what I mean? Luckily they make a healthy and guilt-free treat, perfect to satisfy your sweet tooth or to serve as a light dessert after a big feast.
Wish I had one of them right now, but they were gone in the blink of an eye!
Hope you are all having an awesome week!

PS: as you can see it was too darn hot and humid the day I took the pictures, they look a bit 'sweaty', hehe. So if it's hot in your place, I highly recommend you to store them in the freezer.

Healthy Coconut Bon Bons
(Yield: around 16 bites)

- Filling:
1 3/4 cups raw shredded coconut.
1/4 cup natural almond butter.
1/4 cup coconut cream.
2 to 3 tablespoons coconut syrup.
- Chocolate coating:
1/4 cup melted cacao butter (or coconut oil).
1/4 cup raw cacao powder.
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup.

Place all the ingredients for the filling inside your food processor and process until a thick mixture forms. It should be thick enough to form into a soft ball. 
Scoop mixture using a one-tablespoon measuring spoon and roll into balls with your hands, transfer to a baking sheet and let them set in the freezer for 15 minutes approximately.
Meanwhile prepare the chocolate coating by stirring the cacao butter, cacao powder and maple syrup in a small saucepan over low heat. Once the mixture is smooth immediately remove from the heat (it shouldn't boil). Set aside to cool.
Once the coconut balls are firm, dip each one in the chocolate coating using a toothpick.
Transfer to the baking sheet again and freeze again until set. 
Repeat the coating process to make sure the bon bons are well covered in chocolate.
Place in an airtight container and store in the freezer.

1 sept. 2016

Whole Wheat Apple Cake

My parents came back from their holidays (they visited their hometown in southern Spain after almost 40 years!) with quite a lot of typical food (cheese, sweets, etc.) and a big bag of apples, very small, sweet and super cute organic apples. I've never seen this kind of tiny apples before, at least not here in my city. My mom, who knows all too well that I'm always looking for new props, found an elderly man sitting outside his home making wicker baskets and she bought him a small one to put the apples inside. Of course that adorable handamde basket is mine now (sorry mom, but it's gonna stay with me forever)...along with some typical pottery that I'll most probably use in my next blog post. And that just gave me the idea of baking something easy, with a rustic vibe, with apples.
Having that nice basket full of apples in my kitchen gave me the inspiration to bake a lovely, wholesome apple cake, with a good dose of cinnamon and just the right amount of sweetness. I love this type of kinda rustic cakes, I think their beauty lies in their simplicity and how they remind me of those days when our grandmas used to bake these cakes to celebrate birthdays, special holidays and even weddings.
Sometimes the most simple things are the better: just a slice of this very aromatic cake paired with your favorite tea, juice or a cup of milk and your day will suddenly start to get better. Let me dedicate this recipe to those who are going through a rough patch, or are stressed or simply having a bad day. When you get home bake this cake, cut a big piece just for you, enjoy it, sit down and relax...or listen to Slayer at full blast, this helps me a lot! Ha! ;-)

Whole Wheat Apple Cake
(Makes one 21 cm/8.5-inch round cake)

1/2 cup pure maple syrup.
3/4 cup organic apple juice.
1/4 cup mild-tasting extra virgin olive oil.*
1/4 cup natural applesauce.
2 cups whole wheat flour.
2 tablespoons cornstarch (or potato starch).
2 teaspoons baking powder.
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon.
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla powder.
1/2 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt.
1 big Golden Delicious apple, finely sliced.
Apricot jam, for brushing the top.

* See 'Notes'.

Preheat oven to 180 ºC (350 ºF). Lightly grease a round cake pan (21 cm/8.5-inch) with nonstick cooking spray and line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the maple syrup, apple juice, oil, and applesauce.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, spices and salt.
Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir just until combined using a wire whisk or a silicone spatula.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Cut the apple into thin slices and arrange them over the top of the cake, creating a flower-like pattern (starting from the outside) and bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
Carefully remove the cake from the pan and using a pastry brush, brush the apples with heated, thinned-down apricot jam.
Let cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

I recommend using the Arbequina olive oil variety because of its soft flavor and fruity aroma.

25 ago. 2016

Mocha Fudge Ice Cream

After almost two weeks without new recipes I'm back again. I needed a little digital detox, to spend more time going for a walk, discovering new places to eat and watching movies with my sister at night without worrying about my 'to-do' list or if my e-mail inbox was too cluttered. I highly recommend everybody to spend a week unplugged, or at least to stay away from the computer as much as possible and try to not constantly check your phone. It might feel a bit weird the first two days but once you go out and explore new places, try new things, or simply dedicate some time to take care of yourself, you'll start to feel better.
Recently my sleeping schedule has been quite inconsistent and I've had a very hard time sleeping, thus I woke up quite tired and grumpy. Spending time in front of the computer at night, writting blog posts or checking my Instagram notifications right before going to bed are the things I should avoid if I want to show that insomnia who the boss is! It's hard though, because most of the days the only free time I have to do some blogging tasks is after 10 pm. But going to bed super late is definitelt not the solution...so I must teach my body to adapt to new routines and, most importantly plus the hardest part, to shut off my brain before bedtime.
One thing I've learned over the last two weeks is to avoid eating dark chocolate and/or sugar after dinner, it gives me quite a lot of energy and then I can't sleep. Like that night I decided to eat a big bowl of the Mocha Ice Cream I'm sharing with you today. The dark circles in the morning were worth it anyway, cause this ice cream is so deliciously creamy and chocolaty! Any chocolate or coffee lover should try it before summer ends (owell, I'm one of those persons who still eats ice cream during winter). Chocolate and coffee are winning combo, everybody knows that, but if you're still hesitant about it then I encourage you to treat yourself with this ice cream.

Mocha Fudge Ice Cream
(Yield: 8 scoops approximately)

- For the ice cream:
1 can full-fat coconut milk.
1 cup almond milk.
1/2 cup light brown sugar.
2/3 cups unsweetened cocoa powder.
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract.
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum.
1/3 cup coffee dark chocolate, finely chopped.
- For the coffee fudge sauce:
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder.
A pinch of salt.
1/2 cup boiling water.
5 tablespoons light brown sugar.
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup.
1 tablespoon olive oil.
1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder.

* Notes: Coffee Fudge Sauce adapted from Fran Costigan's 'Thick Fudge Sauce' recipe.

- To make the ice cream:
Place coconut milk, almond milk, light brown sugar, cocoa powder and vanilla extract in a blender and blend on high until combined. Carefully add in the xanthan gum and blend on low for a few seconds to prevent the xanthan gum from splattering, then increase the speed to high and process for 1 minute.
Pour the mixture into an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
When the mixture is cold, give it a quick stir and pour it into your ice cream maker. Churn according to the manufacturer's directions, I usually churn my ice creams for 35-40 minutes.
Transfer the ice cream to a freezer-safe container, stir in the coffee chocolate chips and cover with plastic wrap to preven ice crystals from forming. Close the container and transfer to the freezer.
Once the ice cream is halfway frozen, stir in the fudge sauce, or alternatively pour it over the ice cream when serving.

- To make the coffee fudge sauce:
Place the cocoa powder and salt in a medium saucepan and combine. Pour the boiling water over the cocoa and stir with a silicone spatula. Let it sit for 5 minutes.
Cook the mixture over medium-low heat for 1 minute and, whisking constantly, add the sugar, maple syrup, oil and instant coffee. Once the mixture begins to boil, remove the saucepan from the heat and finally add in the vanilla extract.
Cool the sauce to room temperature and, if not using immediately, store covered in the refrigerator. The sauce will thicken as it cools so you might need to warm it in a bain-marie.