Posts tagged ‘cacao’

Frozen Chunky Monkey “Cupcakes” with a Fudgy “Frosting”

I am all about bite-sized treats. There is built-in portion control (theoretically speaking of course!)…then there’s the “cute factor”, and in my opinion, they are more fun to eat.

Though if I’m being honest, I always have more than one. However, with healthier ingredients I feel it’s OK to have that extra serving :) After all, I am getting an extra boost of fiber from flaxseed meal and oats, protein from the powder and nut butter and the healthy dose of fats keep me full. frozen mini cakes with nana icing

These frozen chunky monkey “cupcakes” were adapted from my carob covered coconut protein bars on a whim when I was in the mood for something sweet yet filling and needed a little protein boost. They hit the spot and I made several batches – some with and without the “frosting”, which can be eaten sans-“cupcake” guilt-free as well :)

That’s a win-win situation in my book!

frozen mini cakes with nana icing2

Frozen Chunky Monkey “Cupcakes” with a Fudgy Nana “Frosting”
Gluten-free, Grain-free option, Vegan Option, Dairy-free, Nut-free Option

Bottom Layer
1/2 cup natural almond butter or peanut butter (can sub sunflower seed butter for nut-free), room temperature
2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
3 Tbsp honey, agave or brown rice syrup or to taste* (could probably sub banana or soaked dates but haven’t tried this)
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
100 grams good tasting vanilla protein powder of choice (I tested this with Jay robb’s whey protein, was 3 scoops)**
3 Tbsp flaxseed meal
2-3 Tbsp oat flour, oat bran (for grain-free, sub more flaxseed meal or use almond or peanut flour)
pinch of sea salt (eliminate if using salted nut butter)

For the Fudgy “Frosting”  
2 small ripe bananas, sliced and frozen
1/2 Tbsp honey or agave (omit for less sweet…I was going for frosting)
2-3 Tbsp raw cacao powder or cocoa powder to taste*** (could sub carob powder for caffeine free)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of sea salt, optional but enhances the flavor

For garnish
Chopped walnuts, mini chocolate chips or cacao nibs (use chips or nibs for nut-free)

Directions

For the bottom layer
1. Line a mini muffin pan with plastic wrap or use a silicone mini muffin pan (my preference) and set aside.
2. In the bowl of a food processor, combine nut butter, oil, sweetener and extract. Process until smooth.
3. Add in remaining ingredients (protein powder through sea salt). Pulse until combined and well incorporated. If the mixture looks too wet, add a bit more flour to reach a cake batter consistency (the bottom layer will firm up when refrigerated though).
4. Spoon into 12 individual mini muffin cups and refrigerate until firm (I left the cups overnight, but you also freeze the cups for an hour or so before finishing them with “frosting” layer if using).

For the Frosting
1. While the bottom layer is hardening, prepare the topping. Pulse all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor until smooth and well combined.
2. Spoon into a piping bag or a plastic freezer bag (this is to make the swirl on top). Place back in freezer for 15 minutes to let harden a bit.
3. Cut a small hole in the freezer bag and pipe onto prepared “cupcake” bottoms. Garnish with walnuts/chips/nibs and enjoy!

Notes
Best kept in freezer or frozen banana “frosting” will get goopy and melty. You may have extra frosting leftover depending on how much you pipe…you can freeze the rest and eat them frozen chocolate-nana ice cream cubes!

*My protein powder is sweetened so if you choose a powder that is unsweetened, feel free to add more sweetener to liking. If you want to keep the sugars low, adding a bit of stevia to taste is always an option but you may need more oil or nut butter to make up for the lacking moisture.

**If you would like to eliminate the protein powder, increase the oat bran/flour or almond or peanut flour
***Add cocoa/cacao powder to taste. If you prefer a lighter chocolate taste, use less…for a more intense chocolate taste use more. I used more because I like the deeper chocolate flavor.

frozen mini cakes with nana icing bite

May 15, 2013 at 6:46 pm 3 comments

Cocoa-Kissed Chia Energy Bombs

I’m always looking for healthy portable snacks and bite-sized goodies I can take with me when I’m on-the-go. With candy and treats surrounding me ALL DAY at work, it’s nice to bring something sweet to munch on so I don’t give in to all the tempting yet processed stuff staring at me in the face when my afternoon sweet tooth hits :)

cocoa kissed chia energy bombs

You know, that chocolate monster that just won’t go away unless you feed it a little something? Some people have will power…I just trick my taste buds instead!

These no-bake energy bombs are the perfect homemade snack or treat and can be adapted to your liking! Add your favorite dried fruit, chopped nuts, shredded coconut, nut or seed butter or even mini chocolate chips or unsweetened carob chips for a little more decadence! If chocolate isn’t your thing, you could even omit the cocoa powder for a “blond” version.

cocoa kissed chia energy bombs 2

Cocoa-Kissed Chia Energy Bombs
Gluten-free, Egg-free, No-Bake, Dairy-Free, Vegan Option, Nut-free Option 

Ingredients

3/4 cup gluten free oats (I used Bob Red Mills) — could even try quinoa flakes for a change!
5 Tbsp ground flaxseed (I grind mine in my Magic Bullet using the “S” blade)*
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (I used finely shredded but regular works too)**
1 Tbsp unsweetened raw cacao or cocoa powder
1 Tbsp black or white chia seeds
rounded 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon (can omit but I love the flavor and health benefits of cinnamon)
4 Tbsp honey, agave or maple syrup (do not use honey if strict vegan)***
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp creamy or chunky peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter or sunflower seed butter (use sunflower seed butter for nut-free)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Add-ins (Optional)
1/4 cup chocolate chips, raisins, dried cranberries, chopped dried fruit, cacao nibs, chopped nuts/seeds
or even add in your favorite extracts or spices

Directions

1. In a medium bowl, combine all dry ingredients.
2. In a large bowl, combine all wet ingredients. Next, add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until wet combined.
3. Chill for 20-30 minutes in the refrigerator. Use a spoon or your hands and scoop into rounded tablespoons then rolls into balls. Store in a container in the fridge and enjoy!

Makes 14-16 energy bombs (unless you eat the dough like me!)

*If you don’t have flaxseed, you could probably sub the flaxseed meal with a nut meal like almond flour or even a protein powder for added protein (if you try this let me know this works, I like the added fiber and nutty flavor from the flax).

**I’ve made these sans-coconut as well, just increase the oats by a 1/3 cup

***You might be able to use date paste in this recipe but you may need a little more to help hold everything together, or increase the nut butter a bit…depending on the consistency of the date paste and nut butters. I use natural nut and seeds butters (just nuts/seeds and salt) so you may have to add a little more oats or sweetener to help hold the mixture together depending on the ingredients used. If it’s too crumbly, add more sweetener, if the mixture is too runny then add a bit more oats or flax.

cocoa kissed chia energy bombs1

March 12, 2013 at 9:30 am 9 comments

“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

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