German Chocolate Cupcakes

Photo 2015-02-01, 12 58 27 PM

These babies have been a long time in the making.  I’ve been working on the recipe on and off forever, making them now and then but never really getting excited about them – until now!

I’m really glad I didn’t post them earlier because I’m on a low carbohydrate mission in all of my recipes these days.  There is so much unnecessary sugar in modern day food – it drives me crazy.  I had a muffin last week in a moment of weakness and I went into a sugar coma immediately after.  No wonder I was a walking zombie every day in high school, having delicious sugar-rich cookies every. single. day.  I literally lived off of sugar!  I do not want my kids suffering the same fate, but I also don’t want to deprive them of treats.

I made so many cupcakes testing this recipe that we had them for breakfast the next day along with 2 pints of blueberries.  No sugar crash.  No mommy guilt.  And very happy kids.

Photo 2015-02-01, 12 56 12 PM

German Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • ¼ cup cocoa
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ cup almond milk
  • 16 drops stevia (I use Now’s French Vanilla)
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin pan with 12 silicone cups individually greased with coconut oil.

Mash up the banana very well, then add the eggs, almond milk, maple syrup, vanilla, and stevia.

Combine almond flour, cocoa, sea salt, and baking soda, and add the dry ingredients to the wet.  Stir well.

Divide the batter between the 12 muffin cups.

Bake 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean (dry).

Let cool in the pan at least 20 minutes.  Hollow out the middle with a tsp.  Ice liberally with the chocolate ganache (careful not to fill the hole) and fill with the coconut filling!

Filling:

  • 1 cup pecans, finely chopped
  • 1 ½ cups shredded coconut
  • 3 egg yolks
  • ½ cup coconut cream (solid mass in a can of full fat coconut milk)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 16 drops liquid stevia

Place egg yolks and 1 tbsp water in a large bowl.  Place the bowl over an inch of  barely simmering water, and whisk until the eggs thicken, about 5 minutes. Add coconut cream and stir until melted. Remove the bowl from the heat and mix in pecans, shredded coconut, vanilla extract, maple syrup, and stevia. Set aside.

Ganache:

  • 8 oz good quality 70% cacao chocolate
  • 2 tbsp coconut cream
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler. Once the chocolate has melted, remove from the heat source and add the coconut cream. Stir to melt the cream. The coconut cream brings down the heat of the chocolate. The mixture will thicken and you can immediately ice the cupcakes (after they have cooled a little).

Photo 2015-02-01, 12 57 28 PM

“Cheesy” Turmeric Broccoli

I think I’ve teased you all long enough with the pictures of this delicious sauce!  It reminds me a lot of the cheese and flour sauce that my mom used to make to get us to eat cauliflower.  But now, the sauce is made of cauliflower!

The nutritional yeast gives the sauce its cheesiness so make sure you have it on hand.  Don’t worry, it’s an inactive yeast so it won’t add to any candida issues.  Plus, it’s full of B vitamins to give you an energy and nutrient boost!

cheesy turmeric broccoli

Cheesy Turmeric Broccoli

  • 2 heads of broccoli – about 8 cups of florets

Cheese Sauce:

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into medium sized pieces
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • 1 ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper

In a large soup pot, sauté the onion in coconut oil over medium heat. After 5 minutes, add the garlic and cook for a few more minutes.

Add the cauliflower and chicken stock to the pot and cover.  Cook over medium high heat until the cauliflower is tender.

Transfer the cauliflower mixture to a high speed blender and add the nutritional yeast, turmeric, salt, and pepper. Blend well.

Lastly, place the broccoli in a large pot with an inch of water in the bottom.  Steam the broccoli for 3-5 minutes or until desired tenderness is reached.  Drain broccoli and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain the broccoli well, transfer to a bowl and top with cheese sauce.

Low Carb Chocolate Shake

I joined Yuri’s beta testing group for the new book that he’s writing, and it all kicked off yesterday.  Since then I’ve been trying to come up with new recipes for old favourites, bringing the carbohydrate levels way down for those low carb days.  Since the diet doesn’t include my daily stress management tool – chocolate – I’ve been looking for alternatives.

So today being a low carb day, I changed up my favourite chocolate shake to stifle a craving.  Not only is it low in carbs but it is very high in protein due to the peanut butter, spinach, and protein powder. My taste testers agreed that it was a fantastic alternative, both returning for seconds.

lowcarbchoc

Low Carb Chocolate Shake

  • 1 cup coconut milk (canned, full fat)
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • ¼ cup peanut butter
  • 3-4 cups baby spinach
  • 3 tbsp protein powder
  • 3 tbsp dark cocoa powder
  • 20 drops stevia (Now’s French Vanilla flavour is my favourite!)

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend well.

Serves 2 (each serving has approximately 4g of sugar)

lucasmoothie

Luca got chocolate on his face, shirt, the floor, and couch pillows!  Just a normal day with 3 boys!

Chocolate, Peanut Butter, and Coconut Protein Balls

Meet my new favourite obsession: protein bar creation.  I used to live off of protein bars so it’s high time I make my own.  These balls will come in super handy when the kiddos come home from school and want food ASAP.  Though I would like to get the sugar content down even more for that same reason!

balls2

Chocolate, Peanut Butter, and Coconut Protein Balls

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 scoops ultimate vegan energy protein powder
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup almond milk
  • 6 drops liquid stevia

Mix all ingredients together, and roll into TBSP size balls.  Serve.

Using the above recipe yields 16 balls with 2.5g of sugar and just over 2.5g of protein each.  The protein powder is comprised of sprouted brown rice protein, maca, and vanilla.  I highly recommend Brad King’s brand not only because it tastes great, but because it is a highly bioavailable form of protein.  Our bodies can use it easily unlike other vegan forms such as pea protein which are largely cheap fillers.

My favourite brand of stevia is Now’s better stevia, french vanilla flavour.  It’s still got the bitterness characteristic of stevia, but is way better than sweet leaf in my opinion.

ballsNote that sweet little hand trying to get into the chocolate chips!

 

Allergen Free Baking: The Best Pancakes Ever.

gluten free vegan pancakes

Banana Coconut Gluten-Free Vegan Pancakes

I have had many reasons to go allergen free in the past, but none were as motivating as my current living breathing reason: my newborn son Oscar.  I have many food sensitivities that I notice daily unless I eat 100% clean.  Even then, I will notice a reaction if I eat too much of something that I am mildly sensitive to such as certain vegetables!  I have been eating moderately clean my entire pregnancy, gaining less than 25 lbs, and my eczema disappearing for most of it.  However, upon delivery, my hormones are out of whack and so is my body.  My eczema is flaring up once again.

Oscar is also developing a rash.  I don’t know if it’s eczema yet.  I think it’s newborn acne at this point, but in a bid to avoid the occurrence of eczema and allergies I am trying to keep him away from the common culprits: dairy, soy, corn, wheat, excess sugar, etc. as well as giving him a daily probiotic. Unfortunately, when both parents have allergies or asthma, the offspring is nearly 100% likely to have them as well.

And it is because of all of this that these pancakes were born.  I swear they are the best pancakes ever, and Yuri agrees!  I am not saying that you can eat pancakes every day because they are allergen free, but they are there when you want something special.  There is no need to feel guilty about indulging in these, and the best part of it is that these pancakes cause me NO digestive distress!

BEST PANCAKES EVER

Gluten-Free Banana Coconut Pancakes. They’re vegan AND healthy.

Serves 2

1 1/4 cup gluten free flour (see below)
3 tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups almond milk
2 eggs, or use this egg substitute:

  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp ground flax seeds
  • 4 tbsp hot/boiling water

3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 banana, chopped
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup coconut
maple syrup, for serving
banana and coconut for garnish

If using the egg substitute, mix the egg substitute ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside for 10 minutes.

Separately, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.

Add the almond milk, egg substitute, and coconut oil to the dry ingredients and mix well.

Add the coconut, cinnamon, and banana.

Cook over medium heat until done, flipping once.  Makes 6 pancakes.

*if the batter is too thick, add more almond milk

*Lately we’ve been really loving chocolate chunks in our pancakes – the best ones are by Enjoy Life!

Gluten Free Flour

Gluten free flour making is an intimate thing.  There are so many variations out there.  This is what I came up through trial and error and it is my favourite gluten free flour yet.  I doubt I’ll even try any others.  You can use this in any recipe that calls for all purpose flour. Just make up a batch and you’ll have it to use whenever you need it!

Mix together:

250g millet flour (1.5 cups)
150g almond flour (1.5 cups)
150g quinoa flour (1 cup)
150g buckwheat flour (1 cup)
300g tapioca flour (2 cups)

I buy millet, almonds, buckwheat, and quinoa whole and mill them in the coffee grinder. This way they are as fresh as possible. Tapioca and almond flours I buy already milled.  Though you can grind almonds in a coffee grinder – they are super fresh!  In Canada you can get almond flour from jkgourmet.com which is what I do now that I’ve found them!