4 oct. 2018

Spiced Peach Chia Pudding

Chia pudding is my savior. Whenever I'm craving for dessert but my consience says "hell no!" I prepare a big batch of chia pudding overnight to enjoy at any moment during the next day...because sometimes a simple yogurt doesn't work to boost your mood.
There a hundreds and hundreds of chia pudding versions, as many as you can imagine/desire so you can never get tired of it, plus it'll make you feel good and satisfied. Obviously my favorite one is the chocolate chia pudding with some berry jam and nuts, but you can find many more here on the blog: raspberry chia pudding, mango chia pudding, and this protein-packed vanilla chia pudding with blueberry compote (so yummy).
I love to combine my puddings with natural coconut yogurt (it's so creamy!) and then add just the right amount of sweetness. Since cinnamon and peach work so well together I added a pinch to the chia base and a dash of ground cardamom too, fall is here and it's time for all things spicy and comforting. Now that I'm thinking Halloween is right around the corner and still haven't decided what I'm going to prepare, any ideas?! Got so many things to do this month: new collaborations, new recipes to develop, getting to know a bit more my new camera which means lots of practice...think I need a coffee!

Spiced Peach Chia Pudding
(serves 1)

1/2 cup unsweetened oat/any plant-based milk.
3 tablespoons chia seeds.
1 tablespoon agave syrup.
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon.
Tiny pinch of ground cardamom.
1/2 a peach, cut into small cubes.
- Toppings:
Natural coconut yogurt.
Bee pollen.
Cacao nibs.

- If you want your chia pudding to have a less thick consistency reduce the chia seeds to 2 tablespoons.
- I used agave syrup for this recipe because its light color will make the chia pudding look less dark in the photos but feel free to use your favorite sweetener, the best one is probably pure maple syrup.

In a small bowl stir together chia, milk, sweetener and spices, using a fork until all ingredients are completely combined. Taste and adjust sweetness if needed. Cover and let the chia soak up the liquid until it reaches a pudding-like consistency, around 15-20 minutes approximately. You might need to stir the mixture a bit more halfway through.
Chop the peach into small cubes and cover the base of your jar or bowl with these pieces, add the chia pudding and top with your favorite coconut yogurt (you can even use an electric mixer to whip the yogurt for extra fluffiness), some cacao nibs and bee pollen. Pro tip: if you don't follow a vegan diet drizzle with honey, it goes so well with peaches!

20 sept. 2018

Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies (GF+V)

After a couple long months I finally decided it's not too hot to turn on the oven, honestly I haven't missed baking a lot since I've been doing all kind of raw desserts, no-bake treats and ice creams but these, my friends, are the last weeks of summer. One can feel the breeze is slightly more cold, the days are certainly shorter (ugh, I hate that part) and the sun shines in a more timid way. I don't know about you but there's a bittersweet vibe to the end of the summer that I used to hate (cause it meant I had to go back to school) but now that I'm an adult (?) I kind of like that feeling...maybe it's because I was born on september 18th and being a late-summer baby defines that melancholic Virgo personality of mine. Whatever it is, I don't want summer to end but thinking about being all cozied up at home with my warm cup of matcha latte while it's cold outside doesn't make me feel bad at all. Am I becoming an old lady?! Perhaps. But this old lady treated herself to a new camera (a Canon EOS 5d Mark IV....YASSS!), I'm officially a very happy and very broke girl right now! 
So all this blabbering was just my attempt at introducing you this new recipe: a few days ago I baked some delicious dark chocolate chunk cookies because cravings, and they came out so good and yummy that I only ate one warm cookie, set it all up and took some photos to write a new blog post. It's really hard to resist temptation when you know there's a batch of freshly baked cookies calling your name but a food blogger's gotta do what a food blogger's gotta do. :-p
I highly recommend to use your favorite dark chocolate bar instead of chips, the cookies will be more decadent and yummier...and one can rarely find some decently good store-bought chocolate chips. They never make high-quality dark chocolate chips, some of them claim to use dark chocolate but when I read the label and see up to 50% cocoa solids I just want to cry and laugh all at the same time, what kind of joke is that?! When I'm buying dark chocolate I expect it to be at least 70 % dark.
I'm especially proud of these cookies cause I managed to make them not only vegan but also gluten-free and they have a really nice soft texture, and if you like crispier edges simply flatten them a lil bit more and bake for a couple extra minutes.
Now let's enjoy that delightful scent of freshly baked cookies!

Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies
(yield: 12 big cookies)

1/2 cup almond flour.
1/2 cup gf oat flour.
1/4 cup potato starch.
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds.
1 teaspoon baking soda.
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon.
1/4 cup coconut oil.
1/3 cup almond butter.
1/3 cup coconut sugar.
2 tablespoons unsweetened plant-based milk.
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup.
Pinch of pink Himalayan salt.
1/3 cup dark chocolate chunks, preferably 70-72 % cocoa solids.

Preheat oven to 180 ºC (350 ºF) and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl and using a hand whisk stir together almond flour, oat flour, potato starch, flax meal, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
In a medium bowl whisk the coconut oil, almond butter, coconut sugar, milk and maple syrup, until fully combined. Stir the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and mix with a silicone spatula until a cohesive dough forms. Stir in the chocolate chunks.
Scoop around 1 tablespoon of dough per cookie and leave enough space between them (even though these cookies won't spread too much, but I recommend it anyways). The cookies are quite big so you will most probably need two baking sheets. Slightly flatten them with the back of a spoon and bake for around 15 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.
Let the cookies cool in the baking sheets for 5 to 8 minutes and transfer to a cooling rack until completely cold (if you can resist).
Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

29 ago. 2018

Raw Carrot Cake

I teased you with this recipe a few weeks ago and after some tweaks here's the definitive version: individual raw carrot cakes that are just as beautiful as delicious! I promise these cuties will hit your sweet spot and be a total success, everybody loved them at home and were gone in the blink of an eye.
It feels so good when you get a recipe exactly the way you had in mind, especially after testing the recipe only for two times. I'm a huge lover of carrot cake in all its forms: the classic cake, cupcakes, energy balls, smoothies...it was about time to create a raw version now that it's still so hot to turn my oven on.
The decoration couldn't be easier but I think it's enough to make these mini cakes shine even more, just some pecan nuts and delicious Ceylon cinnamon dusted on top. Serve them when you have guests at home and they will love you endlessly, and if not well you should start thinking about not inviting them next time because who can't love a real good carrot cake?! If you don't like carrot cake we can't be friends. :-p
Feel free to use your favorite silicone mold, it can be a mini-cupcake pan, a square pan...whatever works for you as long as it's made of high-quality silicone because they make the unmolding so much easier. I find out using regular pans make the job a bit stressful and the cakes don't come out as perfect.
While I'm typing this I can't stop thinking about what kind of recipe should I try for the next blog post? Maybe it's time to take a break from the raw recipes...? Ice cream, anyone? Seriously, I refuse to turn on the oven!

Raw Carrot Cake
(Yield: 12 individual small cakes)

- For the cake:
1 1/4 cups raw blanched almonds.
15 Medjool dates, pitted.
1/2 cup (packed) shredded carrot.*
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut.
2 tablespoons raw coconut oil.
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon.
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger.
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves.
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg.
A pinch of pink Himalayan salt.
1/4 cup chopped pecan nuts.
3 tablespoons raisins, chopped.
- For the cashew buttercream frosting:
3/4 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight.
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk.
2 tablespoons agave syrup.
2 teaspoons lemon juice.
A couple drops of food-grade organic lemon essential oil (optional).
5 tablespoons raw coconut oil.
A pinch of pink Himalayan salt.

- It's very important to drain the excess liquid of the carrots before measuring and cooking, otherwise the texture and consistency of the cake will be compromised.
- About the raisins: you might think it's a small quantity but actually I chopped them in half. You can leave them out if you are not a fan of them.
- A couple notes about the cashew buttercream: add a pinch of salt in the soaking water so the cashews don't get dark-ish. Last, but not least, always look for an almond milk with the highest percentage of almonds possible.

In the bowl of your food processor pulse the almonds until a coarse flour forms. Add in the dates, shredded coconut, spices, salt, and coconut oil. Process until a sticky and cohesive dough forms, then add the shredded carrot but don't overprocess, pulse a few times and stop. The cake will look prettier if there are visible bits of carrot.
Transfer the dough to a large mixing bowl and incorporate, stirring by hand, the chopped pecans and raisins.
Press down the mixture firmly into the pan (I used a 12-cavity silicone mold) and place into the freezer, until it's very firm. If your silicone mold is very flexible you should use a baking sheet to easily transfer it to the freezer.
Meanwhile we can prepare the cashew buttercream frosting: place the (drained) cashews and the almond milk in your blender or food processor and blend until you get a creamy mixture. Add in the agave, lemon juice, salt and lemon essential oil (if using), and blend until combined. Finally add in the coconut oil gradually until a thicker cream forms.
Pour the cashew mixture evenly over the frozen cake and transfer to the freezer again, until it gets very firm so it'll be easy to unmold.
Unmold the cakes, decorate the tops with some extra pecan nuts and cinnamon, and let them thaw at room temperature for about 5-10 minutes (depending on how warm is your place) before serving.
Store the mini-cakes in an airtight container in the fridge for a week approximately or in the freezer for a longer shelf life.