23 feb. 2017

Breakfast Cookies

As some of you may have noticed (well, it's kinda obvious) I designed a new header for the blog. I wanted to change it for a looong time but since yours truly is always in busy bee-mode I didn't manage to do it until now. It's something more simple and clean than the previous header and I also want to change the blog's layout but this will take me some time to do it since I'm considering to finally give Cinnamon Girl a more professional look (to have my own domain, a modern template, etc.). I'm gonna need lots of patience and good luck vibes, so please send me some my way!
These days, apart of trying to figure out all this 'html' things I managed to bake some seriously good for you and delicious breakfast cookies; packed with lots of nutrients, healthy fats and zero refined sugar...and also they are dairy free and egg free. Yeah, they really taste super good, spiced and not overly-sweet.
Bake them, taste them, enjoy them and let me know what you think!

PS: the weekend is almost here, yay!

Breakfast Cookies
(yield: 15-16 cookies)

3/4 cup sprouted spelt flour.
1/2 cup quick-cooking rolled oats.
1/2 cup quinoa flakes.
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cornstarch.
3 1/2 tablespoons flaxmeal (ground flax seeds).
3/4 teaspoon baking soda.
A pinch of Himalayan pink salt.
1/2 cup coconut sugar.
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon.
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger.
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg.
1/4 teaspoon allspice.
A scant 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil.
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce.
1/2 cup mix of nuts, roughly chopped.
1/4 cup dried cranberries.

- You can use regular spelt flour instead of the sprouted variety.
- If you can't find coconut sugar replace it with the same amount of panela (also known as 'rapadura), which is raw cane sugar.
- I always recommend using a fruity variety of olive oil for baking sweets. My favorite one is the spanish oil made with Arbequina olives.
- When I make these breakfast cookies I like to throw in whatever little leftovers of nuts I have in the kitchen, such as almonds, walnuts, cashews, etc. They don't need to be finely chopped.
- I recommend using natural dried cranberries, without added sugar.

Preheat oven to 170 ºC (338 ºF) and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl mix all the dry ingredients using a wire whisk: oats, quinoa, flour, cornstarch, flaxmeal, baking soda, salt, coconut sugar and spices. Stir well until thoroughly mixed.
In a smaller bowl beat together the oil and applesauce, add in to the dry mixture and stir until well mixed.
Finally stir in the chopped nuts and the dried fruit (cranberries in my case).
Using a measuring tablespoon as the reference (1 tablespoon equals 15 ml) scoop out rounded portions of dough and distribute them onto the baking sheets. Don't forget to leave enough space between them in order to prevent them from sticking together, though these cookies usually don't spread too much like regular ones. Lighlty press down each cookie ball with your hands to flatten them just a little bit and bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown and edges start to get crispy.
Let cookies rest in the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.
Store them in an airtight container at room temperature.

15 feb. 2017

Raw Pumpkin Energy Squares

Hey it's been a minute! I couldn't post a new recipe last week (damn, I hate to put my blogging tasks on hold) but I'm back with a really nice (and healthy) sweet snack that will help you kick those late afternoon cravings right in the butt.
These energy squares are a powerhouse of energy, packed with superfoods like chia, sesame and pumpkin seeds, sprouted oats, maca and carob powder. A lot of goodness in just one small bar...and most importantly: they taste super good!
I'm eating one of them right now as I'm typing this post, it's my treat of the day after a pretty intense core workout and I love their pumpkin taste and how well they combine with the carob flavor. I'm really into carob these days, it smells so good! That nutty and sweet aroma drives me crazy (almost as much as pure chocolate...almost!).
Next time I'll add some carob powder to the dough to give these energy squares a chocolaty flavor.
Have you ever tried cooking with carob powder before? Which are your favorite recipes? I need suggestions! 

Raw Pumpkin Energy Squares
(Yield: 16 squares)

10 Medjool dates (or 170 g dates).
3/4 cup sprouted rolled oats.
2 tablespoons raw chia seeds.
2 tablespoons raw sesame seeds.
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds.
2 tablespoons maca powder.
1/4 cup pure maple syrup (or agave syrup).
1/3 cup natural almond butter.
Carob powder, to decorate the tops.

Place all the ingredients in the bowl of your food processor and pulse until a sticky dough forms. The dough should be thick and compact, you'll need to stop the food processor a few times and scrape down the sides of the bowl. 
To make sure the dough is ready simply scoop a small amount of dough and roll it into a ball, if you can easily give it a round shape and the ball doesn't crumble then you can proceed with the next step.
Line a shallow square tin (like a small brownie pan) with parchment paper leaving some extra paper on the sides to easily unmold.
Firmly press down the dough using your fingers and silicone spatula, make sure the dough is well compacted so the bars will keep their shape once they are chilled.
Cover and refrigerate overnight (or at least 4 hours) until the dough is firm.
Once chilled, cut into 16 equal squares and dust the tops with carob powder. Store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

- You can leave the bars au natural or dust them with raw cacao powder or pure cocoa powder.
- Replace the maca powder with your favorite protein powder or if you wanna give them a chocolate flavor use raw cacao powder instead.

2 feb. 2017

Pear and Walnut Muffins

I quit sugar since Christmas, yeah...I know what you're thinking right now: "dude, she runs a dessert blog what the hell is she thinking? Is she going to publish 'hippie' food from now on?". Calm down people, it's not that I'm giving up on sugar entirely...I just wanted to 'behave' since I ate quite a lot of sweet treats during the holidays (comparing to what I usually eat on normal days). That lead me to some heartburn symptoms for a week or so, and then I decided to eat more clean, more fresh, more raw and to cut back on sugar and some oily, saucy foods. My stomach is so used to eat healthy and clean that when I try again the 'bad stuff' my body rapidly sends me a warning message...and let me tell you something, I'm feeling more energized, less foggy and my stomach is happy again.
So during the last month I haven't tasted any refined sugar, not even whole cane sugar, only coconut sugar and maple syrup to sweeten up my morning pancakes, porridges and my bakes. 
These pear and walnut muffins I'm sharing with you today are sweetened with natural applesauce and pure maple syrup and they taste so deliciously good! They have the right dose of sweetness and make the perfect breakfast or afternoon snack without feeling those sugar spikes, or when you want to treat yourself with something sweet yet good for you. Also these are quite probably the fluffiest and lightest muffins I've ever baked, they are like really REALLY tender and soft; so much that I recommend having a fork on hand cause you'll want to eat even the tiniest crumb.
I'm thinking right now about the banana chips + dark chocolate chunks-combo...pretty sure it will work very well in this recipe.Of course I'll let you know as soon as I try it!

Pear and Walnut Muffins
(Yield: 8 muffins)

1 cup plus 2 tbsp unsweetened almond milk.
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar.
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp brown rice flour.
1/2 cup sprouted spelt flour.
1/2 cup plus 1/2 tbsp almond meal.
1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds.
1 teaspoon baking powder.
1 teaspoong baking soda.
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon.
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger.
1/2 cup pear chunks (1 pear approx.).
3/4 cup chopped walnuts.
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil.
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce.
1/4 cup pure maple syrup (or agave syrup).
1 Rocha pear, cut in thin slices to decorate.

- About the almond milk: I always recommend to read the labels because not all the milks have the same percentage of almonds. Some brands taste like meh-sweet water because they have a lot of water, sugar/sweeteners and thickeners but a little amount of almonds. I recommend you to compare different brands and buy the one that has the higher percentage of almonds in your store.
- You can use regular spelt flour instead of sprouted spelt flour.
- I recommend using Rocha pears for this recipe (it's a portuguese variety). It's a crunchy, nutty pear that is more resistant to handling and easier to cut into thin slices. To get 1/2 cup of pear chunks you'll need one Rocha pear approximately, to decorate the top of each muffin you'll need a second pear.

In a small mixing bowl whisk together the apple cider vinegar and almond milk, set aside until the milk curdles, approximately 7 minutes. Meanwhile preaheat the oven to 170 ºC (338 ºF) and line a muffin tin with 8 paper liners.
In a large mixing bowl mix the flours (brown rice and spelt), the almond meal, ground flaxseeds, baking powder, soda and spices.
Chop the pear into small chunks and add them to the dry mixture along with 1/2 cup of the chopped walnuts. Reserve the remaining 1/4 cup of walnuts to decorate the tops.
In a medium bowl whisk the olive, applesauce and maple syrup until combined. Add in the milk/vinegar mixture and mix well. Finally pour this wet mixture into the dry ingredients and mix well with a silicone spatula until thoroughly combined.
Fill each muffin cup with the batter and decorate the tops with two slices of pear per muffin and the rest of the chopped walnuts (1/4 cup). 
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of one muffin comes out clean.
Brush the tops with a bit of maple syrup while they are still warm (optional).
Store the muffins in an airtight container at room temperature.