25 may. 2017

Coconutty Cookies

This week more than ever I need to sweeten up my life, can't stop thinking where the hell is this world going to. So many sad news lately it's easy to give in to hopelessness. But this blog is all about good vibes and yummy food, okay...maybe a little rant here and there, but I always try to keep it cool and positive on here. This morning a quote from one of my favorite tv series 'Once Upon a Time' pop into my mind and I think it's really appropiate now that we are facing darker times:
"Darkness never wins. It just fools you into thinking it does."
And now let's talk about this week's recipe, one that will please all the fans of the coconut and chocolate combo. These cookies are loaded with coconut, almond butter, a subtle touch of lemon and the base is coated with an intense chocolate glaze. Fat, cakey cookies...I simply love them! Plus they are vegan and naturally gluten-free! Needless to say these cuties were gone almost in one sitting and even my mom who is not very fond of coconut loved them (but I secretly ate the last one! hee hee).
I hope you like my recipe, try it at home and think of me with a smile on your face while munching down the very last cookie. 

¡Receta en español muy pronto en la web de El Granero Integral!

Coconutty Cookies
(Yield: 12 cookies)

- For the cookies:
1/3 cup almond butter.
Zest of half a lemon.
3 teaspoons lemon juice.
1/3 cup agave syrup or pure maple syrup.
1/4 cup coconut flour or oat flour.
1 teaspoon baking soda.
Pinch of salt.*
2 1/4 cups unsweetened shredded coconut.

- For the dark chocolate glaze:
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted.
1/4 cup cocoa powder.
1 tablespoon maple syrup or agave syrup.

* See 'Notes'.

Preheat the oven to 180 ºC (356 ºF) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
In a large mixing bowl mix together the flour and baking soda with a wire whisk to aerate the mixture. Add in the rest of the ingredients and mix with a spatula until completely combined, the mixture will be fairly thick due to the high amount of shredded coconut but you can finish the mixing process using your clean hands. I mixed it all really well using a silicone spatula, though.
Scoop around two tablespoons of mixture for each cookie and roll into balls. Place them on the prepared baking sheet leaving some space between them and flat them a little bit to form discs.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through the baking time if necessary to ensure all cookies get the same light golden brown color.
Cookies will still be soft to the touch but let them rest on the baking sheet for a few minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack until they are completely cool.
- For the dark chocolate glaze:
In a small saucepan over medium-low heat stir together the coconut oil and maple syrup, gradually add in the cocoa powder and mix until well combined. The glaze should look glossy and have zero lumps. Keep an eye on the temperature, the mixture should never boil!
Once the cookies have cooled, transfer to the freezer for 5 minutes approximately or until very firm.
Dip the base of each cookie into the chocolate glaze and place them on a lined baking sheet (glazed side up), take them back to the freezer so the glaze hardens quickly and repeat the coating process again.
Store the cookies in an airtight container in the fridge.

- If you use salted almond butter omit the pinch of salt.
- For a more intense lemon flavor add 1-2 drops of organic essential lemon oil.
- Cookies will look darker if using maple syrup. You might think they browned quickly but do not reduce the baking time to less than 10 minutes.
- If you have gluten intolerance make sure the oat flour is certified gluten-free.

18 may. 2017

Apple Pie Overnight Oats

It is so important to start the day in a good mood and what better way than to enjoy a yummy, comforting, nutritious and filling breakfast? Obviously I'd love to have more time during the weekdays to prepare an elaborated breakfast like decadent french toasts with coconut whipped cream, some baked apple crumble...or even pancakes! So I need what they call a throw-together breakfast, but being a food blogger and an avid healthy foodie means that I'm not gonna have a bowl of store-bought rice krispies mixed with cold milk and you'll never see me buying breakfast (or anyhting else, actually) at Starbucks. This is when overnight oats come to save my day! Even though these ones might look like they take more time to prepare don't worry, the oatmeal is prepared they night before and you can even make the caramelized apple the day before, store it in an airtight container in the fridge and simply mix everything together in the same bowl in the morning. 
I'm a fan of this type of make-ahead breakfasts that don't compromise flavor or nutrition. Plus I'm not a morning person so it's a win-win situation!
The weekend is right around the corner and I'm already thinking about what I'm going to have for breakfast, this time something more elaborated (aka more decadent). But what I actually should be thinking is what kind of cake I'll make for my dad's birthday which is this Sunday. I need some inspiration!

Apple Pie Overnight Oats
(1 serving)

- For the oatmeal:
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce.
1/2 cup sprouted rolled oats (or regular oats).
1 teaspoon agave syrup.
1/2 cup oat milk or almond milk.
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon.
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg.
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger.
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice.
- For the caramelized apple:
1 golden delicious apple.
Coconut oil, for greasing the pan (1 tbsp approx.).
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup.
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon.
A pinch of pink Himalayan pink salt.
- Optional toppings:
Greek yogurt or creamy soy yogurt.
Chopped pecan nuts.

In a small bowl mix well all the ingredients for the oatmeal using a fork until combined. It is optional but you can also add a teaspoon of agave syrup (or pure maple/coconut syrup) for a sweeter flavor. This recipe also works well with spelt so replace the oats with the same amount of wholegrain rolled spelt flakes.
Transfer to a bowl, jar or container with a lid and let it set overnight.
Peel, core and chop the apple. In a small saucepan heat around one tablespoon of coconut oil and when it is hot and simmering add in the apple, maple syrup, cinnamon and salt. Cook over medium-low heat for 5 minutes approximately, stirring a few times, until the apple is soft and it has absorbed all the maple syrup. The apple should have a golden brown color with a slightly sticky texture.
Serve the oatmeal mixed with the caramelized apple and top with greek yogurt (or your favorite creamy soy yogurt) and some chopped pecan nuts.
If mixture is too thick add more milk until your reach the desired consistency.

11 may. 2017

Carob Pound Cake

It was bound to happen sooner or later: a new recipe using carob powder (yes, carob one more time), and adding it to one of my favorite things to bake when I'm in the kitchen, pound cake. I've told you many times how much I fell in love with carob powder since I first tasted it not too long ago and am really glad I came up with the idea of giving a twist to the classic chocolate pound cake.
It's gonna be the perfect companion to my afternoon tea today since the weather is rather autumnish even though we are well into May, a thick slice of this deliciously tender cake will cheer me up while I think about what kind of dessert I'm gonna prepare to celebrate Santa Gemma Day this Sunday. Any excuse is a good one to make a yummy dessert, wether it is my name day, a bank holiday, international siblings day or whatever is marked (or not) on the calendar.
Rainy days like the one we're having here make me feel so lazy all I want is to hide under my blanket and binge-watch my favorite shows which by the way some of them have ended and other have been cancelled. For example, 'Once Upon a Time' is one of my most favorite shows but its future is quite uncertain at the moment cause the main actress is leaving; so I'm in desperate need of new tv series to get hooked on. What are your favorite tv series? Which one would you recommend me? Help me make my Sunday afternoons a bit more entertaining! :-)
Back to the recipe, this pound cake is moist almost like a brownie, has a really tender crumb and tastes even better the next day. Plus it's not overwhelmingly sweet which makes it perfect to enjoy for breakfast,you can include some add-ins to the recipe like chopped walnuts and chocolate chips or if you wanna make it look more fancy follow my instructions and glaze it with my carob ganache.

Carob Pound Cake
(Yield: one 20x10cm/8x4-inch loaf)

- For the pound cake:
1 cup unsweetened applesauce.
1/3 cup carob powder.
1 cup unsweetened almond or oat milk.
3/4 cup coconut sugar.
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour.
1/3 cup coconut oil.
1/2 tsp pure vanilla powder.
1 tsp baking powder.
1/2 tsp baking soda.
1/2 tsp salt.

- For the carob ganache:
4 tbsp pure maple syrup.
1/4 cup carob powder.
1/3 cup almond butter, at room temperature.
1/4 tsp pure vanilla powder.
3 to 4 tbsp almond or oat milk, at room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 180 ºC (356 ºF). Lightly grease a loaf pan (mine is 20x10cm/8x4-inch) with nonstick cooking spray and line the bottom with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl beat together the applesauce, coconut sugar, coconut oil and almond milk until well combined.
In a separate bowl, mix the flour, carob powder, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla powder and salt, use a wire whisk to ensure the mixture is well aerated.
Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and mix with the wire whisk until the batter is smooth. This step is optional but if you are going to add some chunks like 1/4 cup walnuts and 1/4 dark chocolate chips then fold them into the batter.
Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 1 hour approximately or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean or with tiny moist crumbs.
Once baked let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove from the pan and leave it to cool completely on a wire rack.
- To make the carob ganache:
Put the maple syrup in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until bubbles start to appear. Reduce the heat to low and add in the carob powder stirring constantly until completely combined. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the almond butter. Finally place the saucepan back to heat and gradually pour in the milk, cooking on low heat until the ganache is smooth and looks glossy.
Let it cool at room temperature for a few minutes so it thickens a little bit before frosting the pound cake.
Store the cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator.