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‘Tis pumpkin season, which calls for pumpkin muffins:  easy, clean and paleo.

pumpkin-muffins

I used Wellness Mama’s recipe, which turned out great. I added some Enjoy Life chocolate morsels (dairy-free, gluten-free and soy-free), and that’s why I used only 3 Tbs of pure maple syrup (instead of honey), and added pecans into the batter. All the rest, remains the same as the original recipe. Of course you can play around with the sweetener and the quantity.

Bon Appétit !

fall3

Fall Bliss

 

 

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I wanted to make a vegan cake for someone’s birthday, but most vegan desserts usually contain some grains or processed sugar, which I try to avoid, being Paleo. On the other hand, I do use eggs for baking, but that’s not vegan, right? I also wanted chocolate, thank you.

cake

This cake was gone after a day!

After googling endlessly for the ideal combination of vegan and paleo with chocolate, I found Ester Perez’ recipe that looked promising and really pretty. I made two versions of it after tweaking it to my needs (basically, to ingredients I had at home) and thought this version is the better one, cause I don’t like it too sweet:

You’ll need:

  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • 7-8 pitted dates
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tbs water

***

  • 3 ripe avocados
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened organic cocoa powder
  • 4 Tbs melted organic cold-pressed coconut oil
  • 1 Tbs organic vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon organic cinnamon powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

how to:

  1. combine first 4 ingredients in a food processor or blender. Blend until sticks together. You don’t want to turn it into a powder, but you don’t want any whole pecans in there either.
  2. Once blended, press the mix into a pie plate. You don’t have to butter the pan.
  3. Set that aside and make your filling.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients into the food processor or blender.
  5. Once ingredients are completely blended together into a creamy consistency, pour mix into the prepared crust.
  6. Set in the fridge to chill until serving, or if making ahead, freeze and serve at a later time, but thaw at least an hour to room temperature before serving.

This is a great dessert for a warm summer night, it’s cool and light. Only problem is, it’s so tasty and such an easy pie to make, that it’s tempting to make again and again. Bon Appétit!

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Call it ice-cream, call it pudding, as long as it’s chocolaty, soft, and cool in my mouth, it’s one of the ultimate heat breakers for summer. The fact that it’s gluten, and dairy free, both paleo and vegan, elevates it to ideal. And, to top it all, it’s easy to make. Oh, it will be somewhat grainy, as I like to feel some chunks (dates, pecans). Now that’s pure awesomeness.

chilled chocolate banana date mousse

chilled chocolate banana date ice-cream

you’ll need:

How to:

  1. Pulse the coconut flakes in a food processor, for about 1-2 minutes. At first it will be powdered, and then it will start to stick to the container walls.
  2. Peel bananas and cut roughly into slices, and add to the coconut mixture in the food processor. Add cacao powder, medjool dates (make sure no pits), and pecans. Add any optional flavors*.
  3. Blend in food processor until thick and creamy. If you like it smoother (and not feel the date, or coconut chunks), keep blending even more.
  4. Transfer to a freezer-safe dish, and tuck in the freezer 30-60 minutes, yet not too long so it doesn’t harden too much. If you do leave it too long, that’s fine, just thaw it outside for a while, before serving. Alternatively, you can save in the fridge, covered, to have it as a soft mousse/pudding treat. All of the above, if you don’t finish it right away.

optional flavors to add:

  • 1/4 tsp cardamom powder + 1/8 tsp chili powder. YES, it’ll add pizzazz to your mouth;
  • 1/3 tsp cinnamon powder;
  • 1/3 tsp coffee powder + 1/8 tsp chili powder + 1 Tbs vanilla extract;
  • throw in some of your favorite nuts and berries (goji, mulberries, etc’);
  • throw in some mini chocolate nibs or chocolate chips.

What’s your favorite addition?

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Curried-Cumined Zucchini Soup

Curried-Cumined Zucchini Soup

Our winter is too long and too white. There, I said it! To break all this whiteness, I made a warm green soup.

you’ll need:

  • 2 Tbs fat (butter, ghee, coconut oil, tallow);
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds;
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped;
  • 3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped;
  • 1 tsp curry powder (if you like less spicy, use 1/2 tsp curry and 1/2 tsp turmeric);
  • 3-4 zucchini, coarsely sliced (I also used one Dudhi, an Indian type of long zucchini);
  • 3-4 cups liquids (bone broth, chicken broth, vegetable broth, water). Use less liquid (3 cups) for a thicker consistency;
  • salt and pepper;
  • lemon;

* optional: garnish (cilantro, parsley, sour cream)

ingredients assembly. not in the photo: lemon, broth, parsley, salt n' pepper

ingredients assembly. not in the photo: lemon, broth, parsley, salt n’ pepper

how-to:

  1. Melt fat in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add cumin seeds and allow them to heat just until they let out their wonderful aroma. They will start to splutter. Don’t allow them to burn or blacken.

    sizzling cumin opening it's fragrance

    sizzling cumin opening it’s fragrance

  2. Add the onion and garlic and saute for about 4 minutes until they start to soften.

    zuc·chi·ni. noun, plural zuc·chi·nis

    zuc·chi·ni. noun, plural zuc·chi·nis

  3. Add liquid, zucchini, curry powder and salt (add more salt if using only water as your liquid). Bring soup to a boil, reduce heat, cover and cook gently for 30 minutes, until veggies are tender.
  4. Allow soup to cool, and blend (I use an immersion stick) until just smooth.
  5. Before serving, reheat soup. Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed. Ladle into bowls, squeeze some lemon, and add some garnish.

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Every once in a while, I crave sweet, like all normal people. I especially want my CHOCOLATE. I love chocolate.

Usually I’ll have a few squares of 85%-90% cacao chocolate, like Lindt, or Green & Black Organic. Yet, sometimes, I just need to feel the soft, creamy, chocolaty, mousse-like texture on my tongue.  

Chocolate pudding, Paleo

Tad-dam
Chocolate Pudding.

Enter the chocolate pudding.

For this basic pudding, there are no more than 4 ingredients (!):

  • 1 whole avocado, ripe
  • 2 TBS coconut oil
  • 2 TBS cacao powder
  • 2 TBS pure maple syrup
group photo. say cheese, ahem... I mean chocolate

group photo. say cheese, ahem… I mean chocolate

how-to:

  1. With a spoon, scoop out all the avocado, sans skin and seed, into a food processor. Lick the spoon, it’s good for you.
  2. Add the other ingredients to the food processor.
  3. Start processing by pulsing on high speed, until the mixture is homogeneous, in a creamy-like consistency. You do not want to see little specks of avocado. Everything has to look like brown, chocolaty, unified pudding.
  4. At this point, you may transfer the cream into a nice container, and cool it for 10 minutes in the fridge. Or, I just finish it off right there and then.
ingredients for paleo chocolate pudding

ingredients enjoying their last moments as singles

paleo chocolate pudding

ingredients are blended into a soft, velvety chocolate pudding

notes:

  1. coconut oil, cacao powder and maple syrup- you want them of high quality, preferably organic.
  2. you better blend the mixture well, or else you’ll have green avocado specks. While that’s not too bad, try to explain that to your guests.
  3. Personally, I don’t go after a very sweet kick, a little will go a long way. Being Paleo kind of lowered my sweet-taste lever, so 2 TBS of maple syrup are enough for me. You may need to add maple if you like it sweeter.
  4. This is a basic recipe, but there are many add-ons that could elevate your pudding for a festive occasion or just to fancy it up. Add any one of these to the food processor: 1/2 sp. pure vanilla extract, 100 g of melted chocolate bar, chopped nuts (almonds, walnuts, macadamia, etc.), shredded coconut (I used it on top, to garnish), chopped dates, chocolate chips, chopped banana chips, whatever makes you happy.
  5. do not refrigerate the pudding for too long, as the coconut oil tends to harden.
sweet life

sweet life

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It may be a busy summer, even for updating my blog, but it’s never too busy for food making (almost). This time, I decided to make some time, and post an easy peasy recipe.

While due to my Paleo nutrition I keep most nuts to a minimum (I usually stick to macadamia nuts), my kids are not whole Paleo. The transition is slow. They would still take sandwiches to school (summer camp) for lunch, along with some veggie snacks or fruit.  To spoil them a bit, and to get them off of peanut butter, I have decided to make hazelnut butter/spread.

an all natural roaster hazelnut chocolate butter, diy

a wee scoop of hazelnut-chocolate butter on celery

Without further ado, I would like to introduce … The Hazelnut Chocolate Spread.

you’ll need:

  • 2 cups of raw hazelnuts
  • 1 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 2 tsp 100% cacao powder (or more)
  • 4-5 pitted dates

how to:

1. Heat oven to 350°f.

2. Spread the hazelnuts on a parchment lined baking sheet, and bake for 15 minutes. Check on them occasionally, and make sure they’re not burning.  Wiggle the baking sheet if needed.

3. Transfer the roasted hazelnuts onto a clean towel, even if they’re still a bit hot. Wrap them and rub them, until most of the skins come off. These will produce a creamier butter. Oh- of course not all skins will come off 🙂

roasted hazelnuts, skins removed

roasted hazelnuts, skins removed

4. Place the hazelnuts and the rest of the ingredients in the food processor, and process in pulses (watch out, you don’t want to over heat the machine), until you get a nice, smooth, creamy consistency. All you need is patience.

on the way to becoming a hazelnut chocolate butter

roasted hazelnuts + chocolate powder + dates + sea salt

an all natural roaster hazelnut chocolate butter, diy

roasted hazelnuts n’ chocolate butter half way through

an all natural roaster hazelnut chocolate butter, diy

roasted hazelnuts butter- done!

5. Transfer to a glass jar with a tight fitting lid. Place in the refrigerator.

notes:

Just like any kind of sauce, salsa, or smoothie, nut butter recipes are always open to suggestions, trials, and imagination. Explore and add: vanilla extract, chilli powder, maple syrup, honey, another kind of nut, more chocolate powder, coconut shreds, and cinnamon.

You can also play around with the consistency. Go for crunchy if you like (less process in the machine).

Ta- Dam

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I came across a beautiful photo of a blueberry pie, and it made me yearn for something like that, for my self.

Since we practice Paleo, our foods are gluten free, refined sugar free, dairy free (and other stuff as well).

I based the cake on this wonderful chocolate cake, but changed and modified the ingredients for my beloved, blue themed, blueberry cake. I call it cake, since it doesn’t really look like a pie…

Image

decorated cake, dotted with blues.

What’s really nice about this cake, is you can mix all the ingredients in your food processor, and voilà – you only mess up one bowl. Aha!

you’ll need:

  • 9″ round pie dish, greased (with coconut butter). So what if it’s not a pie, eh?
  • 11 pitted dates (why 11? that’s what I had) ;
  • 1 banana ;
  • 3 eggs ;
  • 1/2 cup coconut butter ;
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract ;
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour ;
  • 1/2 cup almond flour ;
  • 1 tsp baking soda, aluminum free ;
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt ;
  • 1/2 cup water ;
  • 1 cup blueberries + handful of blueberries .

how to:

Heat oven to 350°f.

Place the dates and banana in the food processor, pulse the machine until combined.

Add the wet ingredients: eggs, vanilla extract, coconut butter, and water. Pulse again, until combined.

Add the dry ingredients: coconut flour, almond flour, baking soda, and salt. You guessed it: pulse until combined.

Transfer about 1/2 the “dough” (more like wet dough) onto the pie dish. Try to even it, so it covers nicely the bottom of the dish.

Just like a pie- time to add the filling. Spread the 1 cup of blueberries on top of the batter in the pie dish. If you like the strong texture and taste of blueberries, by all means, add more. Lots more. Remember though, more blueberries, means the bottom of your cake will be more moist.

blueberries cake

bottom half of the blueberry cake

Now add the remaining wet dough on top of the blueberries. Use a spatula to even out the batter, smooth and nice.

Decorate with the remaining blueberries.

Bake the pie for 45-50 minutes, or until golden-brown on top (depends on your oven).

Be proud, smile, eat, and share.

Image

fresh

Note: don’t expect a very sweet cake. We like it that way.

Check out my gluten free chocolate cake, and gluten free carrot cake.

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