Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Day Monkey Bread

Monkey Bread

Monkey Bread
It's tradition at our house to eat Monkey Bread on Christmas morning. Every year we try a new recipe, some years it works... but most years it fails. Last year, I took it into my own hands, and it was a raging success. This year I remade it, changing it a little and doubling it to better feed our growing family (weddings and exchange students adding a few). 

I combined a couple of recipes I found plus a little improvisation of my own, and this is what I got. I healthified it a little (for my own conscience) by replacing some all purpose flour with whole wheat flour and almond flour, using coconut oil instead of butter (making it dairy free), swapping some oil with applesauce, and sticking with honey instead of refined sugar (for my diabetic father).

Monkey Bread

Monkey Bread
This monkey bread is the perfect amount of goo and sweet. It tears apart easily and doesn't stick to the pan (hallelujah). The applesauce gives it a little bit of apple flavor while also decreasing the oil and fat content significantly. It takes a little bit of prep time since it needs to rise once and each piece has to be rolled and dipped. In the end though, it's worth every minute.

Feeds 6-8 people 

Dough Ingredients:

1 cup lukewarm water + 1-2 Tbsp
4 tsp. instant yeast 
2 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted
2 large eggs
2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. honey
1 cup all-purpose flour 
1 cup almond flour
2 cups whole wheat flour + more for kneading

Topping Ingredients:

1/2 cup coconut sugar
4 Tbsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup honey


1. Place 1 cup water, yeast, oil, eggs, salt, and honey in a medium bowl and stir well with whisk.
2. Add almond flour and all-purpose flour, stirring to blend.
3. Add 2 cups whole wheat flour and 1-2 tablespoons of water, stirring to make cohesive dough. Let the dough sit for 5 minutes; this gives the flour a chance to absorb the liquid, making it easier to knead.
4. Knead the dough, adding extra flour to keep dough from sticking, until it's soft and smooth.
5. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, spray the top of dough, then cover with cling wrap and place in warm place. Let the dough rise for 25 to 40 minutes, till it's doubled in size.
6. Mix topping while dough is rising. Combine cinnamon and coconut sugar in a small bowl. In another bowl, whisk together applesauce, melted coconut oil, and honey. 
7. Gently deflate the dough, and place it on a clean, lightly greased work surface. Roll it into pieces about 1 1/2 inches in diameter; you'll make 45 to 50 pieces.
8. Lightly grease a Bundt pan. Dip each piece in honey-oil mixture, and then roll it in the cinnamon-sugar mixture to coat.
9. Place the pieces in the prepared pan. Pour remaining liquid over top of dough. (It will be soupy; use it all)
10. Cover the pan, and let the bread rise for 30 to 60 minutes, till it's visibly puffy. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.
11. Bake for 30-35 minutes at 350°F. You may need to cover with foil after 25. Invert pan on plate immediately and serve warm.

** If making ahead and baking the next day, cover pan with cling wrap and place in fridge after step 10. Dough will rise a little overnight. The next day, preheat oven and let dough sit for 20 minutes on counter before baking.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Gingerbread + A Secret Ingredient


  • Makes 2 mini loaves, 780 cal
With the Christmas season comes baked goods on top of baked goods. So what am I spending my break doing? Baking of course! It's the perfect excuse to spend even more of my time in the kitchen. I'm a sucker for gingerbread, which may be weird, since I have heard from multiple people lately how much they dislike gingerbread. The chocolate and sugar cookies can be made any time of year, but gingerbread... that's just for Christmas. I like that both the bread and the cookies have that bold molasses flavor. I like that they aren't too sweet too, since that is an easy thing to get sick of this time of year.

This bread does just that, it's a gingerbread with some bold molasses flavor and just the right amount of sweetness (it is a bread after all, not a cookie). There is also a secret ingredient: coffee. The coffee gives it an unexpected twist that compliments the spices oh so well. It also keeps the bread nice and moist, so you just keep going back for another slice. 

The first time I made this bread I didn't have any applesauce. (What house doesn't have applesauce?) So, in dealing with this issue, I replaced the applesauce with banana puree because I read somewhere that fruit purees were essentially interchangeable. Wrong answer. Applesauce has almost no flavor, where as banana has a very distinct flavor in baked goods. The end product was this awkward conglomeration of ginger, molasses, coffee, and banana. In addition, I felt like the coffee flavor overpowered the two main features of the bread: molasses and ginger. I wasn't about to give up on this one though, I really wanted this recipe to work! Take two: I used applesauce as directed, used medium roast coffee instead of dark, and added an extra dollop* of molasses, a dash* of ginger, and a pinch* of cinnamon. Perfect. The final product turned out just as I had hoped!



  • Since I baked this bread in mini loaves, the baking time was less than half that of a large loaf. This means that from beginning to end it takes less than and hour, which is impressive for a sweet bread. It also means there's no need to cover the top with tinfoil. This bread rises a significant amount too; I only filled each pan a little over halfway. 
Makes 2 mini loaves, 780 calories each

  • Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 Tablespoon + a dash* ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon + a pinch* ground cinnamon
  • Pinch* ground cloves
  • Pinch* ground allspice
  • 1 egg
  • 2.5 Tablespoons coconut oil (melted)
  • 2 Tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup brewed coffee, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup molasses (plus a dollop* more)


1. Preheat oven to 350 F, grease 2 mini loaf pans, and brew coffee.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice.

3. In a second bowl, whisk coconut oil into coffee (this will melt the coconut oil), then add applesauce, molasses and egg. Pour liquid mixture into flour mixture and stir just until combined. 
4. Pour batter into prepared pans, filling half full, and bake in oven for 27-33 minutes on middle rack. Bread is ready when toothpick comes out clean. Let cool on wire rack, removing bread from pans after 10 minutes.

*A dash is equivalent to 1/8 teaspoon. A pinch is equivalent to 1/16 teaspoon. A dollop is a little more than 1 teaspoon.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Cacao Cookies

These cookies are quickly becoming my go-to cookie while I'm at college. They are great because I always have the ingredients I need for them, so I can whip them up whenever and then enjoy! They are usually more of a cookie dough though, since they don't quite make it to the baking sheet. Partially because, as I've stated before, I don't want to make that trek to the kitchen. 

For those who do not know, cacao is the bean that chocolate and cocoa are made out of. It is more bitter than chocolate since it's just the bean and no sugar or milk. The cacao is really what makes the cookies. It gives them a nice crunch, and when baked, the cacao caramelizes slightly and adds a nutty flavor. These cookies would also be amazing with coconut in them, which makes it insanely similar to this recipe from last March. 

One thing I have learned at college is that I can replace almost anything in a recipe with something else. Sometimes this works, other times it doesn't. When you're on a limited budget in the middle of a cornfield though, you make do with what you have. In this case, I made the recipe with a chia "egg" because I didn't have a real egg. It ended up working and also makes eating the raw dough less dangerous*. Ideally, I would make this recipe with coconut sugar as well, but I didn't have that so regular sugar it was! This made them taste way too sweet for me, so I cut it down to a mere 2 tablespoons and added some honey to help the dough stick.

I currently do not have a picture of this cookie; I simple couldn't wait any longer to post this recipe. I will have a picture soon though.


1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp whole wheat flour
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp almond flour
1/3 cup cacao nibs
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp sugar (preferably coconut)
2 Tbsp honey
3 tbsp coconut oil (melted)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp chia seeds + 3 tbsp water (to make chia egg)


1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Make chia "egg" by adding 3 tbsp water to the chia seeds and letting sit for 10-15 minutes, until most water has been absorbed and the egg is a thick consistency. 
2. While egg is setting, stir flours, cacao, baking powder, salt, and sugar together in a medium-sized bowl using a spoon or fork. 
3. Once the "egg" is ready, add egg plus wet ingredients to the bowl and stir thoroughly.
4. Scoop dough, roll into 3/4-inch balls, and place on parchment-lined baking sheet. Press down cookies using a spoon, thumb, or cup to flatten slightly; these cookies will not expand at all during baking
5. Bake for 7-10 minutes or until golden brown then enjoy immediately (and next week, when you decide to make them again)

*The likelihood of a person being affected with salmonella from a raw egg is 1 in 20,000. That's equivalent to eating 1 raw egg every day for the next 54 years. This essentially means that you're safe either way.

Chocolate, Peanut Butter Custard Cups

Chocolate Peanut Butter Custard Cups

For how much I love making my own food, I rarely do it while at school. Something about sharing one kitchen with 300 other girls just isn't all that appealing to me. This was one of the three times I made it down there this semester, and man was it worth it.

I made these custard cups way back in October when my boyfriend and I celebrated 6 months. 2 months later, I am finally posting the recipe (yay for Christmas break). These cups are extremely rich, so it's hard to eat a lot. Yet at the same time they are so good, so it's hard to stop. They are nice because you can make them one day and eat them later, or save them for a week in the fridge. Either way, they taste delicious! 

The original recipe, comes from Green Kitchen Stories. They made the cups with almond butter, but in order to make them more boyfriend-friendly I substituted it with peanut butter. He still didn't fully buy into them, but I liked it so much I finished his off. I keep telling myself that one day I'll get him to enjoy food that doesn't come from a package.

The key to successfully making these is keeping the egg from coagulating. Coagulating. Don't worry, I had to look this word up too. Basically, keep the eggs from turning into a clumped solid. There are a couple of steps that are necessary in order to do this. 1. Don't use the egg whites! They turn solid easier than the yolks when heated. If you have ever made any type of custard, you know this. 2. Pour the hot milk mixture over the eggs slowly, while continuously stirring. 3. Bake the cups in a pan filled with hot water, this helps them heat more slowly, allowing everything to heat equally. 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Custard Cups
Chocolate Peanut Butter Custard Cups

When baking these, I used mason jars. I'm a poor college student after all, so that was al I could find in my dorm room. They worked perfectly fine and were super cute. Any small glass dish will work!

Makes 3-4 servings


1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp all-natural peanut butter
2 organic egg yolks, room temperature
2 tbsp honey
1 pinch sea salt
3 1/2 oz /100 g dairy-free dark chocolate (minimum 70%), coarsely chopped


1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Whisk together egg yolks, honey and sea salt in a medium sized mixing bowl. 
2. Heat coconut milk, vanilla extract, and peanut butter to a low simmer, stirring to make sure the peanut butter completely dissolves. This can be done on the stove (but I cheat and use the microwave).
3. Remove the milk from the heat and add dark chocolate and stir to make sure it melts into the milk. Slowly pour the melted chocolate mixture over the eggs while constantly whisking. This is important to prevent the eggs from coagulating
4. Place 3-4 oven-proof small ramekins, glasses or cups inside a deep baking pan and fill the pan up with hot water. Pour the custard into the cups and carefully place the baking pan on a rack inside the oven. 
5. Bake until the center is almost set, about 30 minutes (custards will firm as they cool). Let cool completely and then refrigerate for 1-2 hours before serving.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Banana Buckwheat Pancakes with Stewed Apples

Banana Buckwheat Pancakes
At school lately there have been pancakes everywhere. Pancakes to celebrate fall. Pancakes in class. Pancakes to celebrate the upperclassman. Pancakes because people are bored. The problem with pancakes made like this? They all are made with dairy, meaning I get to miss out. This, of course, means that I have been craving pancakes for weeks, so when I finally got home for break that was the first thing I made myself for breakfast.

I found this recipe on a new blog, Luar + Wolfdenne, that I found and love (I also love her instagrams). It's super quick and easy; literally 4 ingredients in the pancakes. It's also nice because it only makes one pancake, perfect for just me! The cinnamon stewed apples on top pair perfectly with the dense and sweet banana pancake. I simply added a little extra maple syrup on top, but any extra toppings would only add to the delightfulness of this pancake.
Banana Buckwheat Pancakes

(makes 1 pancake)


3 heaped tbsp buckwheat flour

2 tsp coconut oil
1/2 banana, mashed
water to bring to a thick batter (about 1 tbsp)

Optional Add-In:
1 tsp Cacao Powder

1/2 apple, sliced (or 1 small)
1 tsp coconut oil
2 tsp pure maple syrup
1/4 tsp cinnamon


1. In a small saucepan on low-medium heat, warm the coconut oil and add in the apple slices, maple syrup and cinnamon. Stir until the apples are coated in cinnamon and syrup. Turn the heat to low, place a lid on the saucepan and leave to cook while you make your pancake.
2. In a small bowl combine the flour, coconut oil, banana and water, and mix until you have a thick batter. Place your batter in a frypan on medium heat with a little coconut oil, and cook your pancake until it's golden on both sides.
3. Eat! Feel free to add almond butter, more fruit, maple syrups, or cacao nibs on top

Monday, October 28, 2013

Easy Oat & Ginger Cookies

Oat & Ginger Cookies

The thing I love about these cookies is that they are true to name; they really are easy to make. They take 10 minutes to whip up and 15 to bake, using only a handful of ingredients. They are addicting too. I have, on more than one occasion, eaten an entire batch by myself (oops). These are quickly becoming my favorite cookie for the sole reason of how easy they are to make.

Another wonderful thing about these cookies is that many of the ingredients can be replaced. Use honey instead of maple syrup, or almond flour instead of buckwheat. I made these couple of times this summer with the original recipe (posted below). Recently, since it's fall, I switched it up a little and made these with pumpkin spice instead of ginger and clove (replace with the same amount). Both versions were equally as yummy and addicting.

Oat & Ginger Cookies

adapted from Green Kitchen Stories


4 tbsp coconut oil, room temperature
3 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp buckwheat flour
2/3 cup (plus some) rolled oats
2 tbsp coconut milk (or milk of your choice)
1 tsp ground ginger (scant)
a pinch ground clove (about 1/6 tsp)
a pinch vanilla extract (about 1/6 tsp)
a pinch salt (about 1/6 tsp)


1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Stir together all the ingredients in a mixing bowl. 
3. Spoon up 10-12 pieces of dough onto a parchment paper covered baking sheet. Use the backside of a spoon (or your thumb) to flatten it out as thin as you can. They should be slightly larger than 2 inch wide. 
4. Bake for about 15-18 minutes. Until they get a  bit dark around the edges. 
5. Wait to cool before eating. This is hard, but SO worth it as they become crisp once they cool.

Monday, July 29, 2013

No-Bake Peanut Butter Cookies

No-Bake Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanut Butter is another one of those staple foods in my diet. The problem I have with it though, is that once I start eating it, I can't stop. These cookies are full of peanut butter and also hard to stop eating once I start. These cookies are so easy to make (they are no-bake after all) and are a perfect bite-size treat. I found this recipe on Oh, Ladycakes. She has become one of my favorites lately, as all of her stuff is dairy-free and she has lots of desserts. I haven't made very many of her recipes yet, but I love looking at all of them and have added quite a few to my never-ending list of things to make.

The recipe calls for rolled oats, which you will process in a food processor. Don't use oat flour because you will want to keep the oats more coarse than a flour. Medjool dates can be found in the refrigerated section of the grocery store; if yours aren't fresh anymore, soak them for 15 minutes beforehand to soften them up.

No-Bake Peanut Butter CookiesIngredients:

2 cups rolled oats
Pinch of fine sea salt
10 medjool dates
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
6 tbsp coconut milk (any nut milk works)


1. In a food processor, blend the oats and sea salt into a fine meal.
2. Add the dates and peanut butter; blend for 30-45 seconds. 
3. Add the nut milk and pulse until just combined. 
4. Roll dough into small balls and place on a flat surface lined with wax paper. Press a fork into the tops like you would any peanut butter cookie, then freeze for 15 minutes to set. 

*Refrigerate cookies in an air tight container for up to two weeks. Cookies will keep in freezer for months.

Creamy Chocolate Shake

Creamy Chocolate Shake

Sometimes I get this crazy chocolate shake craving. It's rare, but when it happens this is the perfect fix. Smooth, creamy, and chocolatey; this shake hits the spot every time.

The avocado is great in here because it makes it super creamy, but you can't taste it at all. If you don't have hemp protein powder, don't worry about it. I like to add it in for a little extra protein, but it's not necessary.

Creamy Chocolate Shake

makes 1 large shake


1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup water
1/2 avocado
1 frozen banana OR 1 banana and 4 ice cubes
2 Tbsp hemp protein powder
1 Tbsp honey
1.5 Tbsp raw cacao powder


1. Put all items in blender and blend until smooth.
2. Enjoy!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Graham Crackers

Graham Crackers
Graham Crackers. What's not to love? These have always been one of my weaknesses; I could literally eat them all day. They go well with coffee, milk, applesauce, yogurt, peanut butter, frosting, and of course, in s'mores. But what did I find out last week? They are made with high fructose corn syrup. This did not sit well with me. Even people who don't know a lot about nutrition know that this ingredient is bad; basically, it's a big no no. When I was talking to one of my closest friends, Lauren and she said she had made graham crackers, I knew I had to try as well. Lucky us, Lauren has a blog too, so that's where I found the recipe.

This was no easy feat though. I ended up making the recipe 3 separate times because I wanted to perfect it. Lauren made them gluten free using spelt flour, but I was in a whole wheat flour mood (which is what the original recipe uses). The first time I made them, they tasted too much like molasses cookies. The second time, they were too dry. The third time, after adjusting the molasses, coconut milk, and honey, I did it. They were perfect; or at least perfect to my tastebuds.

Graham Crackers


1 1/2 + 1/2 cup whole wheat flour, separated
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 Tbs. mollasses
3 Tbs. honey
2 Tbs. coconut oil
2 Tbs. unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbs. coconut milk


1. Preheat oven to 375 F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Combine dry ingredients (except 1/2 cup extra flour), and whisk until combined.
3. Add wet ingredients, stir until combined.
4. Using the 1/2 cup of flour that was set aside, flour surface then slowly add flour to dough as needed, combining as you go, until dough is kneadable.
5. Knead dough on floured surface, using remaining flour (remember the less you touch the dough, the better). divide the dough in 2 and form into balls, let the balls of dough sit for 10 minutes.
6. Place a ball of dough on each baking sheet and roll out until 1/8 inch thick, or thinner. Once rolled out, cut into pieces using a pizza cutter and poke holes with fork ( I used a shish-kabob stick so they would look more like graham crackers, but this is more tedious). Separate the pieces from one another; this will help them bake evenly.
7. Place baking sheets in oven one at a time for 10-12 minutes, until edges are barely brown.
8. Let cool completely before storing.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Banana Pancakes

Banana Pancakes

 Breakfast for dinner is always one of my favorites. This past week it was just Emma and me for dinner, so breakfast for dinner it was! I am still on my banana kick, so of course the pancakes were going to be banana. Plus, it's a good excuse to Jack Johnson's song "Banana Pancakes." Since Emma is gluten-free (more like gluten-light) and I am dairy free, I decided to give Sarah Britton's gluten-free banana pancakes a go. I made them once before for the family, but they weren't the biggest fans. This time I changed them up a little, and Emma couldn't even tell they weren't normal pancakes. Actually, she loved them and so did I! Basically, my mission was a success; so for future reference mom, this is a good recipe for pancakes for Emma!

These pancakes are nice and moist from the bananas. They take a little extra time on the pan, but it is worth the wait. I added some dairy-free chocolate chips to some of them too for a little treat. Sarah tops hers with walnuts, bananas, and maple syrup. I am always a fan of applesauce on my pancakes (got that one from my grandpa).
Banana Pancakes

Makes 8 medium size pancakes; 105 calories per pancake


1/3 cup almond flour
2/3 cup oat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
pinch sea salt

1 very ripe banana
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. coconut oil, melted
2/3 cup nut milk (I used coconut)
2 tsp. maple syrup


1.  Add both flours, baking soda, sea salt to a large bowl and stir to combine. 

2. Mash banana with fork in a separate small bowl. Add remaining wet ingredients and stir to combine. The tricky part I run into here is keeping the coconut oil from becoming solid again, make sure if the banana was frozen beforehand that it is completely thawed now; this will keep the coconut liquid.

3. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix just until the two come together. Let batter sit for 15-30 minutes at room temperature. 

4. Heat a little coconut oil in a skillet and drop 1/4 cup of batter onto skillet. Spread slightly with the back of the spoon to even out the batter. Turn heat down to medium-low. Let cook on the underside until you can see the edges browning and the topside has become glazed over a little, which will take more time than a regular pancake. Flip over to cook the other side. Cook until the underside is crispy and brown (although the middle is a little moist, this is okay).

Scotcheroos, The Right (Fat) Way

This type of food is way out of my normal food repertoire, but I was assigned to make these bars for my mom's best friends 50th birthday party this weekend. Specifically, I was told to make "fat bars," which is what my high school calls the bars. Of course, there is not recipe online for something with the name "fat bar," so scotcheroos were the closest I could find.

The thing about the fat bars my school makes is that they are at least 10 times better than scotcheroos. They are creamier, richer, and bigger. They have lots of peanut butter and are coated with thick chocolate. They stick all over your teeth and you have to have milk to wash one down. Basically, everything about them is completely indulgent and I ate them a total of one time my entire high school career.

In order to make the scotcheroos into a fat bar, I had to change it up- I had to make them more fat! For the bars I used more peanut butter to make them gooey and rich and I crushed the Krispies so make them more dense and one texture. For the top I decreased the butterscotch chips and increased the chocolate chips to make them more rich and chocolatey and I added shortening to give the top a shiny hard look. Basically, this is a recipe for scotcheroos, the right way.



1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 1/4 cups creamy peanut butter
6 cups Rice Krispies cereal

1/2 cup butterscotch chips
2 1/2 cups chocolate chips
large spoonful vegetable shortening (do not substitute)


1. Place wax paper in a 9x13 inch pan; set aside. Pour cereal in large bowl, crushing it with your hands as you go. The cereal doesn't need to all be crushed, this is done to make the bars more dense and less airy. Some pieces will be whole, some will be near powder. Set cereal aside.

2. Place sugar and corn syrup in microwave-safe bowl and microwave  until sugar is dissolved and mixture is almost boiling. Microwave at 50% power and stir every 20-30 seconds to prevent burning. Stir in peanut butter until melted and combined; you may need to place it back in the microwave a little bit to soften the peanut butter.

3. Pour liquid over measured cereal and stir until well-coated. Press the mixture into the prepared pan using a rubber scraper.

4. Melt the chocolate chips and butterscotch chips in a microwave-safe bowl at 50% power; stirring every 20-30 seconds. Spread evenly over cereal, make sure to get all the way to the edge (no one wants a piece with no chocolate on top). Let sit to firm, or refrigerate for faster firming time.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Mango Cashew Coconut Bites

Mango Cashew Coconut BitesMango Cashew Coconut Bites

I currently have four recipes in my drafts, just waiting for me to finish up and post. These mango bites were one of them! I made these snacks before heading back to school after Easter. I always make a bunch of snacks that I can easily store in my dorm room or freeze and eat between meals when I am hungry. My body seems to need food every three hours-on the dot- whether I like it or not.

Once again this recipe is from Sarah at My New Roots. She made them for traveling, and I would agree that they work perfect for travel. I stored mine in my freezer at school and would just eat them frozen (mostly because I was too impatient to let them thaw). They were still soft while frozen, so it worked well.

These are so yummy, it is hard to only eat one. Be careful to not over-soak or over-process them while making them or they become too mushy and the texture of each ingredient mixes together. The pinch of salt and the lime zest really bring out each of the flavors in these bites, so don't skip out on them!

Mango Cashew Coconut Bites

Recipe makes about 32 mango bites; 40 calories each


2/3 cup raw cashews
1 cup dried mango pieces (purchase unsweetened, unsulfured)
½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut, plus more for garnish
1-2 tsp. honey, for sweetness if desired
seeds of 1 vanilla bean
lime zest
pinch sea salt
pinch ground turmeric (optional)


1. Soak cashews for 3-4 hours. Drain and rinse.
2. Soak mango for 15-20 minutes until slightly softened, but not mushy.
3. In a food processor combine all ingredients except honey. Pulse to combine until a sticky dough is formed. It is important to process the minimum amount in order to keep 
some texture in the dough. Taste for sweetness and add honey if desired.
4. Spoon out about a ½ tablespoon amount of mixture at a time and roll into a ball with your hands. Roll in coconut to coat. Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, or in freezer indefinitely.

*Try not to over-soak, cashews and mangoes become very mushy very quickly

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Indian Lentil Soup

I love indian food. I love lentils. I love soup. So when I found this recipe on Green Kitchen Stories, I added it to my never ending list of things I want to make. Mama Wendy informed me she had red lentils she wanted to get rid of, so immediately I decided to make this soup for family dinner.

Indian Lentil Soup
I feel like when I describe any food I make, I describe it as yummy. Once again, this soup was so good. I mean, I love the three main parts of it, so it was a for sure win. Even my little sister liked it; she even went back for seconds! 

The soup got pretty thick, so if you want it more soupy feel free to add more vegetable stock, or let it simmer less. It had just the right amount of spice in it, enough to give it a kick, but nowhere near enough to leave you needing to wash down every bite with water. For the most part, this soup is pretty easy and quick to make. Chopping the vegetables is the only timely task,and since my chopping skills are still a working progress, it took me some time.

Serves 6 large servings

Indian Lentil SoupIngredients:

2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp fresh ginger, very finely chopped
1 Tbsp curry powder
1 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp ground chili
3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
200g red lentils, rinsed
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
a pinch of sea salt
2 tomatoes, diced (roma work well)


1. Prepare the vegetables. Finely chop the onion and ginger. Peel and slice the carrots. Peel and dice the potatoes about 1/2-inch big. Dice the tomato.
2. Heat the olive oil in a big soup pot on low heat. Add onion, garlic, ginger and all the spices. After about a minute add the potatoes, carrots and the lentils, stir it around another minute before adding the broth. 
3. Let it boil on low-medium heat for 30 minutes, stir occasionally, taste the soup and add more salt and spices if needed. Add the tomatoes and let it boil for 5-10 more minutes.

**Feel free to place pot on simmer plate on low heat if you need to keep it warm for an hour or so. Wait to add the tomatoes until 10 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Blueberry and Lemon-Poppyseed Cake

I have become the unofficial dessert maker every time my mom's side of the family comes together. This year, I have once again been in the kitchen whipping up desserts for Easter. I tend to make two desserts, lately they've consisted of one "healthy" one and one "non-healthy" one. I chose this Blueberry and Lemon-Poppyseed Cake as the "healthy" one, and an Apple and Blackberry Cobbler was the dessert for the normal-folk of the family. Both equally delicious in my opinion.

This cake was amazing. It was a nice texture from the almond meal, with a light hint of lemon. The blueberries add a nice pop of sweetness with every bite too. The greek yogurt topping was the perfect addition and added a little extra moisture and lemon flavor. The cake was so easy to make, and didn't call for anything too special, which is always nice.

Serves 8-10

Recipe Adapted from Green Kitchen Stories



4 cups almond flour
3 tbsp poppy seeds
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup coconut oil
2 medium lemons + zest
3 large eggs*
1/2 cup honey
2 cups blueberries (save half for topping)


1 cup Greek yogurt, drained
juice from 1/2 lemon (leftover)
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract


1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare an 8 or 9-inch spring form pan with parchment paper and grease.
2. Combine almond flour, poppy seeds, salt, baking powder and baking soda in a large bowl and set aside.
3. Heat oil and honey, stirring occasionally, but do not boil. Grate the zest from the 2 lemons and add it to the honey/oil batter. Squeeze the juice from three of the halves of the lemons into the mixture, saving one half for the glazing. Add the batter to the bowl with the dry ingredients.
4. Beat the eggs and then fold them into the batter together with 1 cup of the blueberries until just combined. Poor batter into prepared pan.
5. Bake for about 35-45 minutes, I recommend covering the pan with tin foil after 25 minutes to prevent the top from burning. Remove from oven and let cool for at least 30 minutes before removing the sides.
6. Meanwhile, start making the glazing. Drain yogurt in a milk cloth or coffee filter for about 10 minutes. This is to make the yogurt less runny. Discard the water and combine the thick yogurt with honey vanilla extract and the juice from the remaining lemon half. Leave to chill in the fridge.
7. When the cake has cooled completely, cover it with glazing, top with the remaining blueberries and serve. You could also just serve the cake with blueberries and yogurt on the side.

* You can replace three eggs with 3 tbsp chia seeds and 9 tbsp water that you combine and let sit for 15 minutes.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Nut Bread Round Two

Nut Bread

One of my first posts was of Paleo Nut Bread. Since then, Sarah, from My New Roots, also posted a nut bread.  She called it the Life-Changing Loaf of Bread, and since she is my favorite blogger there was basically no excuse not to make it. 

This bread is dense since it is almost all nuts and seeds, but so yummy. It has more flavor than the last one I made and again, it is perfect for toast. The main ingredient Sarah points out in this bread is the psyllium (sill-ee-um) seed husks. They are the binding ingredient since there is no flour or egg in the bread. They are also filled with fiber, which helps to regulate the digestive system.

Nut Bread

Recipe makes one loaf of about 16 slices with 150 calories each slice


1 cup sunflower seeds
½ cup flax seeds (ground)
½ cup hazelnuts
1 ½ cups rolled oats
2 Tbsp. chia seeds
4 Tbsp. psyllium seed husks (3 Tbsp. if using psyllium husk powder)
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 Tbsp. maple syrup
3 Tbsp. melted coconut oil
2 cups water


1. Place fitted parchment paper in a metal loaf pan. Preheat oven to 350°F

2. Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl, stirring well (Sarah suggests mixing it right in the pan). Whisk maple syrup, melted oil and water together in a measuring cup. Add this to the dry ingredients and mix very well until everything is completely soaked and dough becomes very thick. Smooth out the top with the back of a spoon. Let sit out on the counter for at least 2 hours, or up to a day (I let mine sit overnight). To ensure the dough is ready, it should retain its shape even when you pull the side of the parchment paper out of the pan.
3. Place loaf pan in the oven on the middle rack, and bake for 20 minutes. Remove bread from loaf pan and remove parchment paper, place it upside down on a cooling rack and bake for another 30-35 minutes. Bread is done when it sounds hollow when tapped. Let cool completely before slicing (difficult, but important).
**Store bread in a tightly sealed container for up to five days. If you want to freeze, Sarah suggests slicing it before hand.