Archive for February, 2013

“Nutella” Ice Cream (Non-Dairy) – SRC

Today’s dessert recipe was inspired by Dorothy of Shockingly Delicious. I was assigned her blog this month for the Secret Recipe Club and was thrilled to have been introduced to her delectable recipes – and so many to choose from!

I decided on her Nutella Ice Cream, not only because it’s on her favorite’s list but because it spurred me to make my own homemade “Nutella” AND it gave me the urge to use my ice cream maker after 6 months of hibernation. There’s something about frozen desserts when it’s still cold outside that is still really appealing. Does anyone else still crave ice cream in the fall and winter?

nutella ice cream1

I altered Dorothy’s recipe to make it dairy free and refined sugar free. I decided to double all of the ingredients because I wanted more than just a pint…what can I say, I like dessert! I started off by making my own homemade Nutella. I also added a bit more cocoa for a greater chocolate kick (this could be due to my homemade version), subbed coconut nectar for sugar, and used Mimic Creme and almond milk in place of cow’s milk and heavy cream. For a little garnish, I also chopped up extra hazelnuts and tossed on cacao nibs for added texture…mmmm!

This recipe was chocolately, nutty, creamy and rich-tasting without the dairy and guilt :) The perfect sweet ending to a long day!

nutella ice cream 2

Chocolate Hazelnut aka  “Healthier Nutella” Ice Cream (inspired by Shockingly Delicious)
Dairy-free, Gluten-free, Vegan, Grain-free, Refined Sugar-Free

Ingredients 

1 1/2 cups unsweetened Mimic Creme* (could substitute canned coconut milk if preferred)
1 1/4 cups unsweetened almond milk or other non-dairy milk (chocolate, vanilla or plain all work here – I used vanilla)
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp chocolate hazelnut spread/”Healthy Nutella”**
6-8 Tbsp coconut nectar (or agave syrup) to taste (depends on how sweet you want your ice cream, remember when it gets cold it is less sweet!)
pinch of sea salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
optional: 1 rounded Tbsp unsweetened cacao or cocoa powder for extra chocolate boost

For garnish: chopped hazelnuts and chocolate chips or cacao nibs OR you could mix them into the ice cream maker toward the end if want them incorporated into the ice cream

Directions

1. Put all ingredients in a blender and blend on low speed just until combined. This will take 15 or so seconds. Pour into container for electric ice cream maker and process until frozen, following manufacturer’s instructions for your machine. You may chill the mixture before processing if you like, but it is not necessary.
2. Eat immediately (it will be a soft-serve consistency, or scoop into a container and freeze for several hours to harden it further.

Makes 2 pints.

*For a creamier and richer ice cream, use all Mimic Creme or coconut milk instead of the non-dairy milk.

**If you are in a pinch and don’t have time to make your own homemade nut butter, you can find healthier versions of chocolate-hazelnut butters in health food stores if you want to go that route :)

nutella ice cream biteFor other recipes from the Secret Recipe Club posts today, click here!


February 25, 2013 at 10:00 am 16 comments

Chocolate Hazelnut Spread aka Healthy Nutella

I am finally getting over 2 1/2 weeks of the “crud” going around, and the lingering cold has really put a dent in my cooking. Besides soups and on-the-go meals from our local health food store, I haven’t been inventive in many meals. However, this chocolate hazelnut spread pulled me out of the slump…it’s creamy, chocolately goodness and rich, nutty flavor made my taste buds sing and I knew I was on the track to recovery.

Oh, the healing powers of chocolate! But please, if you think that’s a bunch of bologna, I’d rather you keep it to yourself so I can keep on indulging :)

nutella 1I’m quite comfortable with making homemade nut butters (ie. nut butter madness post), yet it’s been a while since I posted a new flavor combination. I also realized I’ve never posted a chocolate nut butter….what???? It’s about time!

Hazelnuts + chocolate are a lovely combination…does Nutella ring a bell? I try and stay away from those processed ingredients and partially hydrogenated oils in actual Nutella, so why not whip up a batch of my own? Plus…homemade always tastes better. I won’t say it tastes exactly the same as Nutella but why would it when you are using real and healthy ingredients? :)

One word — deliciousness!

nutella 2

Chocolate Hazelnut Spread aka “Healthy Nutella”
Gluten-free, Vegan, Refined Sugar-Free, Grain-free, Dairy-Free 

Ingredients 

2 1/2 cups raw hazelnuts
2 Tbsp coconut oil (or other neutral oil)
1/3 cup coconut milk (I used the canned variety)
5 Tbsp cup unsweetened cacao or cocoa powder
1/4 cup coconut sugar (or other granulated sweetener)
2-3 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp pure stevia extract (or could increase the granulated sugar by 2-3 Tbsp)
a rounded 1/4 tsp sea salt or to taste

Directions 

1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Add hazelnuts to a large baking sheet and roast for 10-12 minutes until lightly browned and some skins have loosened around the hazelnut.
3. Place the roasted nuts in the center of a damp kitchen towel (use an older towel or dark colored one). Bundle it up and rub the nuts for a couple minutes to loosen the skins. Pick out the “skinless” nuts and place into the bowl of a food processor. Repeat until most of the skins have come off and add the remaining nuts to the processor (it’s ok if there are stubborn ones that are difficult to remove).
4. Process the hazelnuts for 5-6 minutes or until you achieve a creamy nut butter. You may need to stop and scrape the sides of the bowl every couples minutes or so to help it along.
5. Add the oil and process for a minute or so until smooth.
6. Add the remaining ingredients and process again until fully incorporated and really smooth, this took me another 5 minutes. Taste the spread and adjust salt and sweeteners to taste if desired.

nutella scoop

Makes about 1 1/2 cups of nut butter. Store in jars or containers in the fridge.
Enjoy with a large spoon, spread on toast or use in your favorite recipes. “Nutella” Ice Cream (Dairy-free) coming soon!

nutella ice cream1

February 24, 2013 at 12:06 pm 2 comments

Quick N Easy Valentine’s Day Caprese Salad

I have a speedy post for you today. Nothing fancy, but I was playing around with Valentine’s Day cookie cutters and I had to share:
VDay Caprese Salad

How fun is that? I could have taken better photos…but these were with my iPhone using Hipstamatic on the fly and I couldn’t resist :)

If you are looking for a creative yet EASY Valentine’s dish, this may be something that you could throw together in less than 10 minutes. If your better half likes cheese and tomatoes, this just might be the recipe for you!

All you need are the salad ingredients plus the heart-shaped and/or X’s and O’s mini cookie cutters (I bought for $2 at Hobby Lobby) and you are good to go!
VDay Mozzarella CutOuts

Waaalaaaa, I present you with a Valentine’s Day Caprese Salad!

Valentine’s Day Caprese Salad
Gluten-free, Grain-Free, High-Protein, Quick, Vegetarian, Nut-Free

Ingredients

1 log of presliced fresh mozzarella OR 1 ball of fresh mozzarella, sliced evenly into 1/2 inch slices (you may have leftover cheese depending on how many cutouts you make)
grape or cherry tomatoes (about 1/3 cup per salad)
freshly ground black pepper
pinch of sea salt
Fresh basil leaves, rough chopped (not pictured, I got too excited and snapped the photo before sprinkling!)
A drizzle of balsamic vinegar (I use about 1-2 Tbsp per salad or to taste)
A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil (I use about 2 tsp per salad or to taste)

Directions

1. Cut out shapes carefully with mini cookie cutters (hearts, X’s, O’s, I <3 U’s all etc all work). Cut out as many as you want in your salad…and have fun eating the edges or save them for another use (like melting in another dish).
2. In a small bowl, toss tomatoes with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
3. Place cut-out mozzarella pieces in or on a serving dish or plate. Add tomatoes. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and basil. Enjoy!

February 13, 2013 at 9:26 pm 3 comments

5-Minute Cheesecake Mousse

After making my Apple Pie Cheesecake Smoothie as well as my no-bake Peanut Butter Cheesecake, this easy recipe can be whipped up for a quick dessert, breakfast or snack. Plus, the flavor combinations are endless – add your favorite fruits, nuts, spices, citrus, juices, chocolate, coconut etc to make it your own – this stuff is yummy!

If you find yourself dessert-less when your sweet tooth hits and you’re short on time, this cheesecake mousse is a great way to go. It’s creamy and rich-tasting but doesn’t sit heavy in your tummy AND it will keep you full from the high-protein ingredients — bonus!

cheesecake mousse 2

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Mousse (see variation below)

Use your favorite fruit as the main flavor in this mousse, or combine a few like strawberry-mango for a tropical treat! I even listed a chocolate-peanut butter combo below if you aren’t in a fruity mood :)

cheesecake mousse

5-Minute Cheesecake Mousse
Gluten-free, Grain-free, High-Protein, Vegetarian, Nut-free, Sugar-free

Basic Ingredients 

3/4 cup cottage cheese
1/4 cup frozen or fresh berries* or fruit of choice  (could try 2 Tbsp all-fruit preserves too but you may want to eliminate the sweetener)
1/4 – 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp honey, coconut nectar or agave OR 1 packet of stevia or to taste (Feel free to adjust sweetness to your liking, will depend on your fruit and ingredients)
optional add-ins: lemon zest, orange zest, lime zest, ground cinnamon, ginger, cocoa/cacao powder

Garnish ideas, optional 
Fresh fruit
Chopped nuts or seeds
Shredded or flaked coconut
Cacao nibs, chocolate shavings or chocolate chips
Citrus zest
Granola or cereal
Chia seeds

Directions 

1. Add all ingredients to the bowl of a small food processor or high-powered blender. Process or blend until smooth, about 60-90 seconds. Garnish (if desired) and serve immediately or pour into a serving dish and chill for 30-60 minutes, then garnish and enjoy!

*To make a chocolate-peanut butter version, substitution 1 Tbsp cocoa or cacao powder and 2 Tbsp peanut flour OR 1 Tbsp peanut butter for the berries/fruit. If you are allergic to peanuts, use almond butter or sunflower seed butter.

Some of my favorite combinations:
1. Chocolate covered strawberry mousse (pictured) – use strawberries as the fruit, garnish with dark chocolate chunks and fresh raspberries or strawberries
2. Tropical Dream – use mango chunks as the fruit, add a drizzle of orange juice when blending (1-2 Tbsp), garnish with shredded coconut and fresh pineapple (or more mango chunks)
3. Blueberry-Lemon Crunch- use blueberries as the fruit, add a bit of fresh lemon zest (1/2 tsp), garnish with almond granola, sliced almonds and fresh blueberries

cheesecake mousse bite

February 12, 2013 at 7:32 pm 4 comments


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