6 mar. 2019

Sunflower Seed Cacao Spread

I published a teaser yesterday on my Insta account but didn't have time to sit down and write the recipe cause it was workout time, you know it's good to make some priorities and find time for yourself even if it is a quick cardio session
Ever since I bought my awesome food processor I've made a lot of different nut butters (like this spiced cashew butter, yum) but never tried nut-free spreads...until now!
This recipe is perfect for those who suffer from tree-nut allergy and miss enjoying a slice of bread with Nutella; though Nutella is bad for everyone...don't buy it kids, shitty ingredients that nobody needs to put in their bodies so yeah, this recipe is also a great alternative to those store-bought cacao spreads that even when they claim to be palm oil-free are still loaded with refined sugars (or an indecent amount of syrups).
I had a big bag of organic sunflower seeds that had to use up before they turned rancid, and what a better way to avoid throwing away these healthy nutrition-packed seeds than making a yummy chocolaty spread? It's crucial though to have a powerful food processor, yeah, the big ones that are heavy and a little bit expensive. But it's worth the price if you are really into healthy cooking and making your own nut butters, spreads, dips, etc.
So here it is, cacao sunflower seed butter that happens to be raw, vegan and paleo friendly, nut free and gluten free. Oh! and also super delicious! ;-)

Sunflower seed cacao spread
(yield: around 2 generous cups)

2 cups raw sunflower seeds.
2 tablespoons raw coconut oil.
3 tablespoons raw cacao powder.
1/4 cup pure maple syrup.*
1/8 teaspoon pure vanilla powder.
A pinch of pink Himalayan salt.

- To make this recipe completely raw you should use raw agave syrup or any raw-friendlt sweetener such as dates/raw date syrup. Also, if you don't follow a strict vegan diet raw honey is a great alternative too.

Place the sunflowers seeds in your food processor and process until it resembles wet sand. Add in coconut oil and pulse until the mixture looks quite smooth (be patient, it'll take you up to 15-20 minutes in order to get a good butter). You will need to stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times.
Add the rest of the ingredients and process again. At this point your butter most probably will look like it's grainy but don't freak out, just keep processing until it looks creamy again, and remember to be patient, making nut and seed butters requires quite a bit of time in the food processor.
Transfer to a glass jar/container with a lid and store in the fridge. Since it contains coconut oil this sunflower seed butter will become thicker after setting in the refrigerator so give it a few minutes at room temperature and it'll be smooth and spreadable again.

19 feb. 2019

No-bake Peanut Butter Granola Bars

I've been developing several granola bars recipes for spanish food brands this month and thought it was my turn to create a customized version for the blog. It's been a while since I published a snack recipe with a granola base and the peanut butter+dark chocolate chips+roasted peanuts combo is surely the winning one to me! These are a total hit at our house, my sister is addicted to them and they are the perfect snack on the go and also give you a good boost of energy. It's great to have these kind of portable and easy healthy treats in your fridge, especially on busy days! No-bake or raw snacks are my life saver.
Toasting the rolled oats and roasting the peanuts with a little bit of coconut oil really makes the difference, gives a richer, nuttier flavor but it's completely optional if you're short on time.
After almost two weeks dealing with a nasty flu I'm finally feeling like myself again, my appetite is back and that means I'm inspired and willing to try new recipes and eat dark chocolate again. Also days are already getting longer and it's awesome to have a little bit more natural light for my food photography, makes me feel less stressed. lol :-p

No-bake PB Granola Bars
(yield: 12 bars approx.)

1 1/2 cups rolled oats.
1/2 cup raw unsalted peanuts.
1/3 cup natural peanut butter.
1/3 cup pure maple syrup.
2 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil.
1/4 cup chia seeds.
1/4 cup sultana raisins.
2 tablespoons coconut sugar.
A pinch of pink Himalayan salt.
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips, optional.

First of all toast the oats in a large frying pan greased with a bit of coconut oil, until they look golden brown and they release a toasty aroma. Transfer to a big plate and let cool while you roast the peanuts in the same frying pan (adding a bit of coconut oil). When the peanuts are ready sprinkle a little bit of salt on top and let them cool.
In a medium saucepan over low heat melt the peanut butter, maple syrup, and coconut oil. Stir and mix well until a soft cream forms. This is the "glue" that will stick everything together. Set aside to cool a little bit.
In a big mixing bowl mix the toasted rolled oats with the roasted peanuts, chia seeds, raisins, coconut sugar and a small pinch of pink Himalayan salt. Stir until combined and add in the creamy PB-maple mixture, mixing with a large wooden spoon or silicone spatula. It's important to mix really well so the chia seeds, nuts and raisins are well distributed. It should be a sticky mixture. If you are using dark chocolate chips, then stir them into the mixture (for a healthier/lighter option try using raw cacao nibs).
Line the bottom of a square pan (the one we use for brownies) with parchment paper, leaving some extra inches overhanging the sides to easily remove the mixture later, and firmly press the granola bar mixture into the pan. Finally use your clean hands to ensure you get a very compact and even layer.
Let it sit in the fridge for about 1 hour or until very firm. Carefully remove bars from pan and chop into 12 even squares.
Store in an airtight container refrigerated to keep them extra fresh, up to one week.

14 feb. 2019

Valentine's Day Protein Waffles

I'm so busy I almost forgot to share this V-Day recipe with you! Anyways, they said 'better late than never' and it's still february 14th so here you have a lovely recipe dedicated to all the waffle lovers out there and those who live the fit life. These cuties are packed with a good dose of plant-based protein and they have a really nice texture: slightly crispy on the outside but oh so tender on the inside (just like myself, ha! ;-p). 
I used heart-shaped plates because my belgian waffle maker has interchangeable plates and I couldn't resist buying a new set of plates (Amazon gift cards are one of life's pleasures) but feel free to use your regular waffle iron and prepare them any other day. Perhaps this weekend? Any day is a great day to enjoy freshly-made warm waffles with a dollop of creamy coconut yogurt (I'm obsessed with it!), fresh berries and a lot of maple syrup.
A lot of people hate Valentine's Day and I can understand why, it's a commercialized holiday, but even though I've never celebrated this day I also think it's a good excuse to indulge in chocolate or any other sweet treat. You don't have to buy super fancy gifts to your sweetheart, you can prepare a yummy dinner at home...and do the dishes later for extra bonus points.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Protein Waffles
(yield: 12 small waffles)

3/4 cup spelt flour.
1/4 cup protein powder.
1/4 cup coconut flour.
2 tablespoons coconut sugar.
1 teaspoon baking powder.
A pinch of pink Himalayan salt.
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla powder.
1 1/4 cups unsweetened oat milk.
2 tablespoons ghee (or margarine or semi-solid coconut oil for vegan option).
- Toppings:
Fresh berries.
Creamy coconut yogurt.
Pure maple syrup.

- I like to use ghee for my waffles but if you want to make this recipe 100 % vegan simply use 2 tablespoons of semi-solid coconut oil or non-hydrogenated vegan margarine.
- For best results I recommend using vegan vanilla-flavored protein powder or almond protein powder. If you use hemp, pea or other protein powder the results might vary, you will need to adjust the amount of milk and possibly the waffles will look darker.

In a large bowl sift together the spelt flour, protein powder, coconut flour, coconut sugar, baking powder, salt and vanilla. Mix with a wire whisk until everything is combined and set aside.
Melt the ghee in a small saucepan, let it cool a bit, and whisk in the veggie milk (I recommend oat or coconut milk, both unsweetened).
Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and mix until a soft batter forms, do not overmix, the batter will be ready as soon as there are no visible lumps.
Let the waffle batter rest while you preheat the waffle maker. Once the plates are hot lightly grease them with coconut oil or ghee and pour in enough batter to cover all the cavities; just make sure not to overfill them in order to get perfectly shaped waffles.
Cook the waffles following the manufacturer's instructions or until they have the desired texture, personally I love them crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Depending on your waffle maker you can choose the level of crispiness and color.
Serve immediately and decorate with fresh berries, coconut yogur and a generous drizzle of pure maple syrup.