24 mar. 2017

Super Green Juice

Sometimes our body sends us messages that, for one reason or another (mostly because we are always too busy), we usually ignore or take them as something 'normal'. But we should be more aware of those messages and nourish ourselves nutritionally, physically and mentally. Taking little steps is a great way to start: pamper yourself at home with a weekly face mask, make your own green juices whenever you have time and take a moment to relax and enjoy that juice while reading your favorite mag or simply chilling on the couch. Forget about the phone, your to-do list or anything else for a moment...I know it can be such an impossible mission to fully disconnect but as I grow older I'm more and more convinced that it's essential for our health to stop, breathe and ask ourselves what we really want or need at that very moment.
For me, a great start to self-nourishment (and self-love) is to mantain a healthy way of eating...and I'm not talking about diets or restrictions, it's all about enjoying food as fresh and natural as possible. I've been craving for refreshing juices and fruits these past weeks and maybe it's one of those messages I was talking about, maybe my body was trying to tell me that I needed a little detox and to drink more liquids.
Truth be told, I'm telling you about nourishing body, mind and soul but lately I haven't taken much time off nor looked after myself as I should. Reminder to myself: stressing out because I skipped a workout is not the solution, and I should go to bed earlier for God's sake!
Well, let's talk about this easy but so good for you recipe: a super green cold-pressed juice. I'd recommend this juice to anyone who wants to increase their daily intake of veggies but isn't used to the sometimes 'peculiar' flavor of certain green juices. I added apples to naturally sweeten it up and lemon for a refreshing citrus touch. What really takes things to the next level is the addition of barley grass powder, which is a nutritional powerhouse: high in vitamins and protein and one of the greens with the highest content of minerals! I found this article while browsing the web that explains it all very well.
For the best results, and if you are really into juicing, I recommend to buy a slow juicer though they can be pricey! Luckily I can use my sister's super-expensive-fancy Hurom juicer! :-p 

Super Green Juice
(1-2 servings, depending on glass size)

1 large cucumber.
2 celery sticks.
A big handful of baby spinachs (around 50 g).
1/2 a lemon.
1 big Golden Delicious apple (or two small ones).
A small piece of fresh ginger (2 cm approx.) or 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger.
2 teaspoons of barley grass powder.

Thoroughly wash all the veggies and fruit. Peel the cucumber, ginger, lemon and, if not organic, the apple too.
Cut the lemon in half and make sure you discard the layer of white skin of the lemon. Cut the other ingredients and juice everything together following the manufacturer's instructions of your juicer.
Stir in the barley grass powder until completely disolved and serve immediately. 
I recommend keeping the ingredients refrigerated until ready to use so the juice will stay cold and you won't need to add ice cubes. However, if you prepare it on a hot day and want it to be super cold try adding a couple ice cubes or keep the juice in the fridge for a few hours.

If you can't find barley grass powder use wheat grass, spirulina or an organic mix of green super foods.

17 mar. 2017

Gluten-Free Vanilla Cardamom Donuts

I've been wanting to publish a donut recipe for so long and finally I can share these gluten-free baked donuts with all of you! It took me several tries to get them right, gluten-free baking is no joke especially when you want to customize and create a healthier version of an old recipe. But I honestly think these donuts taste pretty damn good and they aren't loaded with refined sugar, tons of butter, etc. Plus they are baked, which means you're cutting down on calories and fat...so we can all agree to say they are very much guilt-free.
Wish I could have one of them right now to go with my cup of rooibos chai latte, but as you can guess they were all devoured in the blink of an eye. Who can resist to freshly baked donuts?! Not me!
Now I'm off to feed my tortoise Tomi, prepare a quick chocolate chia pudding with whipped coconut cream and think about what flavor will I pick for my next donut recipe. To all my vegan followers, don't worry cause I'm also working on a plant-based recipe!

¡Puedes leer la receta en español aquí!

GF Vanilla Cardamom Donuts
(yield: 12 donuts approx.)

1/2 cup brown rice flour.
1/4 cup teff flour.
1/4 cup buckwheat flour.
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup potato starch.
2 teaspoons baking powder.
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom.
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla powder.
1/2 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt.
1/3 cup coconut sugar.
2 free range eggs, at room temperature.
3/4 cup mild-tasting extra virgin olive oil.
3/4 cup oat milk.
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar.
- For the chocolate glaze:
1 cup dark chocolate (70-72% cacao), chopped.
2 tablespoons melted cacao butter.
- Toppings:
Shredded coconut.
Cacao nibs.
Hemp seeds.

- I like to use very little amounts of cardamom, but if you really like its aroma increase the quantity to 1/4 teaspoon.
- You can replace the oat milk with almond milk.
- When it comes to baked desserts I always recommend using extra virgin olive oil made from arbequina olives, it has a fruity aroma and doesn't have that kinda bitter aftertaste like other extra virgin oils tend to have.
- The recipe yields an approximately 12 normal-sized donuts. For size reference, this is the pan I used (this is NOT an affiliate link). I made extra dough to bake some mini donuts only for photography purposes, so depending on the size of your donut pan you will get some extra donuts or a little less.

Preheat oven to 215 ºC (419 ºF) and lightly grease two 6-cavity donut panswith nonstick cooking spray.
In a large mixing bowl combine the flours, starches, baking powder, spices and salt, using a whire whisk until well combined.
In a medium mixing bowl whisk the coconut sugar, eggs, oil, milk and apple cider vinegar until light and frothy.
Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and stir with a silicone spatula or a hand whisk until combined.
With the help of a pastry bag to make the process easier and quicker fill each cavity about two-thirds full and bake for 8 to 10 minutes.
Donuts should be light golden, if you want tender and soft donuts I don't recommend baking them more than 10 minutes.
Let the donuts cool in their pans for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- To make the chocolate glaze:
Melt the dark chocolate in a double boiler, remove from the heat and stir in the cacao butter. Set aside until donuts have cooled.
- Glazing and topping the donuts:
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place a wire rack on top.
Dip each donut with your hands into the melted chocolate glaze and transfer them to the wire rack. Sprinkle with the suggested toppings and wait until the ganache is completely set before storing them.
These donuts are best enjoyed the day you make them but you can store them in an airtight container up to 2 days at room temperature. 

10 mar. 2017

Blueberry Chocolate Chia Pudding

I've been absent for two weeks and damn!, it felt like an eternity. I'm not sure if someone has missed me (well, my recipes) but I kind of feel guilty whenever I can't prepare new stuff for the blog. Plus this week I'm beginning to notice the awful symptoms of spring asthenia (fatigue) and so my energy levels have been quite low...and to top it all off I got the sad news that my all-time favorite band (sharing that #1 position with Type O Negative), finnish goth-metal band H.I.M., has split up and will do a farewell tour this year. On a brighter note, I got tickets for their show in Barcelona right before they sold out! Anyways, my little fangirl heart is broken for the second time (the first time was when TON's vocalist died :-(...rip Peter!).
Okay, no more space for negative thoughts nor grumpiness; let's talk about food! Because something delicious can help you mend a broken heart (ice cream, anyone? lol)...and when we are talking about healthy and yummy food then the equation is perfect. Who would have thought that tiny chia seeds could be such great nutrition powerhouses and create a tasty chocolate pudding? I pity those who think that healthy food is boring.
To make things a bit more 'appealing' I combined this pudding with a super easy blueberry coulis and my most chritic recipe tester (aka my sister) loved the contrast of flavors. I personally think blueberry and chocolate go so well together. Try mixing it with your favorite fruit sauce or jam, you can also leave it au natural and it will taste great too! Toppings are also optional but they do take any breakfast, dessert or snack to the next level so I highly recommend you to top this pudding with whatever you fancy.
Now I'm off to treat myself with a sweet afternoon snack which, by the way, will be next week's recipe. I won't reveal anything about it because you know that I like to keep some mistery and rarely share a preview of my next recipe. All I can say is that after several failed attempts I think I finally got it!...and yes, there's some chocolate involved. ;-)

¡Receta en español clickando este enlace!

Blueberry Chocolate Chia Pudding
(2 servings)

- Chia pudding:
4 tablespoons chia seeds.
3 teaspoons raw cacao powder.
1/2 cup oat milk.
2 teaspoons coconut syrup.
2 teaspoons lucuma powder.
- Blueberry coulis:
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries.
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup.
- Toppings:
Fresh or frozen blueberries.
Banana slices.
Cacao nibs.
Hemp seeds.

- I used oat milk cause is my favorite one but feel free to use any other plant-based milk.
- Coconut syrup works really well in this recipe, it gives a slightly toasty, caramel-like sweetness but of course maple syrup is also a great option (and even agave or rice syrup, though the delicious taste might be compromised).
- If you can't find lucuma powder here are other good alternatives: açai powder, hemp seed powder, maca powder, some plant-based vanilla flavored protein powder, etc.

In a medium bowl mix well all the pudding ingredients until completely combined. Taste and adjust sweetness if you desire. Transfer to a jar with a lid or an airtight container and let the chia seeds soak up the liquid until it reaches a pudding-like consistency, around 15 minutes approximately.
Transfer the pudding to the fridge if you are making this recipe a day in advance. This pudding doesn't really need to set overnight like some raw oatmeals, chia seeds absorb the liquid pretty fast and I only recommend to store it in the fridge to keep it fresh and in good conditions if you are not planning to eat it right after making it.
While the pudding sets prepare the blueberry coulis: simply put the blueberries in a medium saucepan over low-medium heat and pour in the maple syrup. Stir together and cook until the blueberries begin to thaw (mine were frozen) and then mash them with a fork to help them release their juices. When the sauce begins to boil, reduce the heat and stir until thickened. The coulis should have an intense dark purple color.
To serve cover the base of each jar with the desired amount of blueberry coulis, fill each one with the chia pudding and add the toppings. You can lightly swirl the pudding and the sauce together to create a beautiful effect.