Archive for February, 2012

Black and White Hazelnut Donuts

Are you sick of donuts? I hope not!

For my birthday, my step-mother-in-law bought me a bunch of fun baking ingredients from King Arthur Flour. One ingredient included was called “black cocoa” and it is exactly that. It’s basically dutch processed extra dark cocoa powder and creates extra chocolately goodies with a rich and deep dark color. Mmmm, I love dark chocolate :)

Another item in my birthday baking pack was hazelnut flour! I actually baked these donuts on my birthday (yes, even after the vanilla cake I’d baked) just because I couldn’t wait to try out my new goodies! Plus, I was compelled to make sweet donuts because I’ve had a few people request them  since I posted two savory versions (here and here).

Since the glaze was so dark, I deemed these “black and white” donuts. They have a hint of hazelnut from the flour used but if you wanted the flavor to be more prominent, you could add a small amount of hazelnut extract. If you didn’t want to make the glaze, I bet these would be lovely topped with a smear of chocolate hazelnut spread!

Black and White Hazelnut Donuts

Ingredients

For Donuts
1 1/3 cups GF all purpose blend*
1/3 cup hazelnut flour (can use almond flour or other nut meal if needed for a different flavor variation)
1/2 cup coconut palm sugar or other granulated sweetener (or 1/3 cup palm sugar + pinch of pure stevia)
1 Tbsp chia meal (ground chia seeds) or flaxseed meal
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 to 1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 Tbsp melted coconut oil (or melted butter/ghee or Earth Balance for vegan)
1 egg or 1 flax egg for vegan (3 Tbsp water + 1 Tbsp flaxseed meal)
1/3 cup non-dairy milk + 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice) – combine and let sit for 5 minutes
2 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce

For glaze
2 Tbsp unsweetened black cocoa or extra dark cocoa powder (you can use regular cocoa/cacao or carob powder as well, will be lighter in color)
2 Tbsp melted coconut oil (could use melted butter or earth balance)
2 tbsp powdered sucanat (could use powdered xylitol for sugar free) – use 2-3 more Tbsp to taste for a thicker and sweeter topping
1 tsp non-dairy milk or water
pinch of salt, optional

Directions

For Donuts
1. Preheat oven to 350 F and grease your donut pan well with coconut oil/butter/Earth Balance (it will stick if not)
2. In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together dry ingredients (flours through cinnamon) until well combined. In a separate small bowl, whisk remaining wet ingredients.
3. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients slowly and stir until batter is moistened. Divide and spoon batter evenly into prepared greased pan and bake for 15 to 19 minutes or until cooked through (mine cooked for 15 minutes).
4. Remove from oven and let cool. Turn pan over and pop donuts out onto a wire rack or baking sheet, if needed you can run your knife around the outsides to loosen the edges carefully.

For glaze
1. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients and stir until smooth. Dip tops of donuts carefully into glaze; will harden after refrigerating. (Photos were taken right after dipping, still delicious but messy!)

*For the gluten free flour blend, I used King Arthur’s all purpose blend that contains starches that help with the texture of the cake. My first batch I tried these donuts with 1 cup of the Ancient Grains Blend from King Arthur and 1/4 cup tapioca starch but the quinoa flavor was too prominent for my taste. Use your favorite flour blend, but I would recommend including at least 1/4 cup of either tapioca/arrowroot/potato starch for texture.

Makes 6 donuts

Recipe Notes: if you do not have a donut pan, you can make these in cupcake/muffin form (would make about 5) but you might need to cook a bit longer. Keep an eye on them so they do not dry out!

February 29, 2012 at 6:30 am 6 comments

Lightened up Cheddar-Broccoli Soup (Secret Recipe Club)

I’ve been anticipating this day for a month now — it’s my first post from the Secret Recipe Club. When I first started blogging, I came across the Secret Recipe Club but wasn’t able to join because of the requirements (new blog, not enough posts etc). Last September, I met all the requirements and applied but there was a long waiting list. I hadn’t heard back until early last month with the news — I was finally accepted!

For those of you who are not familiar with the Secret Recipe Club, it’s a great way to learn about other blogs, connect with other bloggers and share recipes. Each month you are “assigned” a participating food blogger to make a recipe from. It’s a secret, you cannot tell them you are making something from their blog! You simply choose any recipe from the blog you are assigned, make or bake it, and blog about it on the date specified.

For February and my first assignment, I was given Nicole’s blog I am a Honey Bee. Looking through her recipe archive I was really excited, and I many several recipes that I wanted to try – Green Tomato Bread was among my picks. I searched for green tomatoes and they were no where to be found in Helena (I’ll have to save this one for another day and de-glutenize it!) so Chris and I voted for my second delicious option – Light Cheddar-Broccoli Soup. Not only had I eaten a creamy broccoli soup several weeks before that I was still thinking about, this was perfect dish when the -2F weather hit and I wanted something warm and comforting!

I put my spin on Nicole’s yummy soup using brown rice flour for the whole wheat, subbed whole grain brown rice milk for the cow’s milk, cut back on the cheese and added some nutritional yeast, used olive oil in place of butter/ghee (I was out of ghee) and added a couple shakes of cayenne pepper. I prefer my soup on the thick and chunky side so I decreased the amount of broth slightly and blended half of the soup. I will definitely be making this again!

Lightened up Broccoli-Cheddar Soup (Vegan Option) (adapted from I am a Honey Bee)

Ingredients

2 heads of broccoli with stems, chopped fine or very fine (depending on what texture you prefer your soup)
3 cups unsweetened plain rice milk (I used Good Karma Whole Grain Brown Rice)
1 white or yellow onion, finely chopped
2 Tbsp butter, ghee, olive oil or Earth Balance (use oil or earth balance for vegan)
1/4 cup brown rice flour
2 – 3 cups chicken broth or homemade stock or vegetable broth (use vegetable broth for vegan/vegetarian)
2 shakes of cayenne pepper
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese. shredded (or use non-dairy Daiya cheddar shreds for vegan or dairy free)
2-3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. Finely chop 2 heads of broccoli, including stems. In a large pot, combine the rice milk and broccoli, then bring to a simmer until broccoli is tender (mine took about 7 minutes).
2. In a skillet, saute the onions with butter/oil/Earth Balance. Once the onions are translucent, sprinkle the flour in the skillet and stir with a wooden spoon until the flour has evenly coated the onions.
3. Add the broth slowly and mix until all lumps of flour are broken down. (For a thicker soup, use 2 cups and for a thinner soup use 3 cups of broth).
4. Add the onion-broth mixture to the broccoli-milk mixture in the large pot. Blend or puree part of all of the soup to your desired texture (I used a stick blender and partial blended the soup to maintain some texture). Then add the shredded cheese, cayenne pepper and nutritional yeast and season with salt and pepper. Stir until cheese is melted and completely incorporated. Serve immediately, enjoy!


February 27, 2012 at 10:00 am 23 comments

The Moose is Loose!

I had to steal that tagline from my dad, he always comes up with funny sayings and I couldn’t help but use it :)

It’s been awhile since I have given you an update our our new frozen yogurt store and I apologize for that –duty calls and I have been a bit pre-occupied! I have to admit, I have seriously missed blogging, creating new recipes and of course, all of you lovely readers but I haven’t exactly had much time to think about much else than our little business :)

The Frozen Moose officially opened on Valentine’s Day. We passed the health inspection the day before and rushed to get the dining area ready, the kitchen stocked and the machines full of yogurt for opening day.


The last two weeks have been a blur to say the least but I do not have one regret. I have never eaten so much frozen yogurt in my life, never worked so hard for anything and never been so proud of how far we have come. Though the first two weeks have been pedal-to-the-metal, fast-paced and very sleep deprived, our business is flourishing, yogurt is being sold and we are receiving positive feedback on our Facebook page! I am more than thrilled with the support from our families, the fabulous community of Helena and my hard-working employees. Without a doubt, Chris and I are convinced that Helena is the perfect place for our store and we know deep down that this is where we are supposed to be. That’s a good feeling :)

Business was slow the first few days but picked up gradually until we hit full speed last weekend! We encountered a few minor hiccups such as running out of change in the register and machines running slow and running extremely low on yogurt but overall the first week went fairly smoothly.

Here are a few more photos of the store….

Customized graphics for the fronts of the machines…we look official, don’t we?
 Soft seating with comfy couches and an electric fireplace that gives off heat! (Notice what show is on…I love Friends…)

 Look at our cute military hats!

Trash cans…I had to insert a little humor :)

Smiling for the camera

February 26, 2012 at 6:06 pm 24 comments

Cran-Nana Sweet-tart Smoothie

I’ve had a bag of frozen cranberries in my freezer since the holidays. I tried making a cranberry muffin/bread/cake thing and it turned out looking like a leopard with a blueish tint– tasty but not pretty at all!

This is a must more attractive looking use of cranberries– a creamy sweet tart smoothie made with frozen banana and frozen cranberries. I added a scoop of protein powder for a hint of vanilla and extra staying power. You could sweeten this drink up with a drizzle of your favorite liquid sweetener if preferred but I enjoyed this a little on the tart side. I used coconut milk as my non-dairy milk but apple juice or orange juice could be substituted for a sweeter smoothie and a different flavor.

Cran-Nana Sweet-Tart Smoothie

Ingredients

1/3 cup frozen (or fresh) unsweetened cranberries
1 large frozen ripe banana, cut into chunks (you could use fresh and add ice cubes but will not be as creamy)
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1 tsp chia seed (or flaxseed meal), optional
3/4 cup non-dairy vanilla milk (coconut, almond, soy) OR (could use no-sugar-added apple or orange juice for different flavor or a combo)
drizzle of agave or honey for sweeter, optional (I omitted this but just in case you want a slightly sweeter drink)

Directions

1. Add all ingredients to a blender and puree until smooth. Pour into a glass and enjoy!

Serves 1

February 25, 2012 at 6:48 am 10 comments

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