Living Well

Posts Tagged ‘breakfast

 

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avocado, roast garlic hummus, sun dried tomatoes and crumbled feta.

brunchalicious

Raw Vanilla-Spice Macaroons with Cacao Cream Filling

Description

We aren’t going to lie, if you make this recipe you WILL be dreaming about it for weeks after! These sandwich cookies are a decadent, delicate treat for a special occasion or just because. You can’t go wrong with a rich cacao cream sandwiched between two chewy coconut cookies.

Recipe by

Ingredients

 

For the macaroons:

2 cups unsweetened coconut flakes

2 tsp ground spiced tea (I used 2 bags of bengal spice)

1/2 tsp vanilla bean powder

1/8 tsp sea salt

4 dates, chopped

1/4 cup raw agave nectar

2 tbsp coconut butter, softened

2 tbsp water

For the cacao cream filling:

1/3 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least one hour

1/4 cup coconut butter, softened

3 tbsp raw agave nectar

1/2 tbsp cacao powder

1/4 tsp vanilla bean powder

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

pinch of sea salt

 

 

Methods/steps

 

For the cookies:

1) In a food processor, process the coconut flakes, ground tea, vanilla bean powder and salt until combined.

2) Add the remaining ingredients and process for a minute or two until well combined. The mixture should stick together when pressed between two fingers. If it seems too dry, add more water.

3) Using a cookie scoop or tablespoon, scoop the dough onto a dehydrator tray and gently flatten with the bottom of a glass (you should get 12 small cookies). Dehydrate the macaroons at 105 degrees for about 6 hours or until desired texture is achieved. They should be crisp on the outside but still chewy on the inside.

4) Spread a small amount of the filling (recipe below) on half of the cookies and press another plain cookie on top to form a macaroon cookie sandwich.

For the cacao cream filling:

1) Blend all ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth.

Vanilla panna cotta with mixed berry compote

by Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake on August 21, 2012

I have a confession to make. I love shopping at Costco. My heart starts to pound when I see 1.5kgs of butter and my palms get itchy walking by the 1kg peanut butter jars and 2kg cream cheese blocks. I could often be seen at the front of the line when a new batch of sample steaks are about ready and I would rarely say no when staff offer me free cheese to try. When my mum and I joined Costco, we literally spent $400-500 each time we shopped there. In fact, I think she still does.

My rational is that sometimes it’s just convenient to buy things in bulk when you know you need it for say a large party, or because well, they just look so cool (how awesome would it be if you built a house with butter bricks? It might melt in the sun but still…) and Costco is so far away from me so I have to get more of what I need in one go….ok…deep breathe.

Of course, one of the issues that come with buying in bulk is buying too much of something that you possibly won’t need or use for a very long time (talking from experience here) and it’s bad when the product is perishable (duh), tiny bit better if it can be frozen (if you have the freezer space).

Just the other day, I was digging through Yuye’s freezer and found a bag of mixed frozen berries that I haven’t seen for a long time. I panicked. It had 500g of berries left and was nearing its expiry date. A lot of recipes went through my head at that moment, in a frantic struggle to not let a perfectly good bag of berries go to waste.

The recipe that I settled on was this lovely vanilla panna cotta with mixed berry compote. The compote turned out a little more watery than I wanted but that’s because the berries were not as fresh. You can tell if the berries had huge clumps of ice stuck to them, signalling that you will get a lot of water in your compote. If you used fresh berries or a fresh bag of frozen berries, it should turn out a lot better.

I also made the mistake of putting the panna cotta in glasses that were too large, so they ended up only filling 3 glasses but should actually fill 4 regular ones. As a result, I also struggled to finish one glass by myself. Yuye didn’t seem to mind the size though and even ate my left over portion. Considering he doesn’t usually have a sweet tooth, it must mean that he thought they were quite delicious. :D

I made a mental note that next time I buy a bag of these frozen berries, I need to have a few recipes lined up first.

Also feel free to substitute mixed berries with just one type such as blueberries as this will also turn out very well.

Vanilla panna cotta with mixed berry compote
Total time: 6 hours 20 mins
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking & setting time: 6 hours
Serves 4
Adapted from David Lebovitz

Ingredients

For the panna cotta
• 2 cups heavy cream (if you don’t like it as creamy, you can use half cream and half milk)
• 50g caster sugar
• 1/2 vanilla bean (cut lengthwise and seeds scraped out) or 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
• 1/2 tbsp unflavoured powdered gelatin
• 2 tbsp cold water

For the berry compote
• 120g frozen mixed berries
• 30g caster sugar
• 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (can be omitted)

Instructions

1. Combine cream and 50g sugar in a medium saucepan on medium heat. Add in vanilla bean seeds and pod (or vanilla extract) and bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Discard vanilla bean pod.
2. Pour the 2 tbsp cold water in a small bowl, add in gelatine powder and let sit for roughy 10 minutes – do not stir.
3. Pour simmered cream mixture over gelatine and stir until all the gelatine is dissolved.
4. Pour cream mixture into 4 serving glasses or ramekins and leave in the fridge to set for a few hours or overnight.
5. Put frozen mixed berries, sugar and vanilla in a medium saucepan and heat on medium high until melted and soft. Stirring occasionally to melt the sugar.
6. Take off heat and cool.
7. When the panna cotta has set, in the fridge and ready to be served, spoon berry compote over the serving glasses and top with a mint leaf. Serve chilled.

Panna cottas are so easy to make and can be made ahead of time so they are perfect party finishers that can wow guests.

Fig, Ricotta and Honey Tart
 

Posted on August 22, 2012

Fig, Ricotta, Honey Tart enh 400 : The Wimpy Vegetarian

Ingredients…

  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, store bought
  • 4 tablespoons ricotta cheese
  • 1 tablespoon goat cheese
  • 2 tablespoons your favorite Boursin cheese
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons honey (I used wildflower honey)
  • 2 1/4 figs, stemmed and quartered
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • small handful of argula
  • 2 slices proscuitto (optional)

Making It…

  1. Thaw the puff pastry according to the package directions.
  2. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F. Place the puff pastry on a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet. Fold the edges of the puff pastry over on itself to form a 1/2″ border along all four sides of the sheet. With a sharp knife, gently score the puff pastry along the inside edge of the folded over border, and prick the pastry inside the borders with a fork at 1″ intervals.
  3. Bake until puffed and golden brown in color, about 8 minutes at sea level; 11 minutes at 6500 feet above sea level.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the cheese and 1 teaspoon of the honey. Mix well with a fork to form a smooth spread. Spread the cheese inside the borders of the puff pastry, and arrange the fig quarters on top. Return to the oven for 5 – 6 minutes at sea level until the cheese is very soft and the rim of the pastry a golden-brown; 8 – 9 minutes at 6500 feet above sea level.
  5. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the thyme over the tart. Tear the proscuitto, if using, into small long pieces and arrange on the tart. Add the arugula.
  6. Drizzle the remaining honey over the tart from the tines of a fork.
  7. Slice with a pizza slicer so there is one fig quarter per piece, and serve.
I just invented an amazing recipe for vegan (almost) raw ‘chocolates’ that are totally healthy and easy to make!
They are made with carob because I’ve been kind of sensitive to chocolate lately, and carob has so many amazing health benefits (see comments). It tastes very chocolatey using this recipe though!
I have most of these ingredients on hand, but you can play with variations.. they are very deliciously forgiving and do well with all kinds of flavors/additions and subtractions. You want to make sure to keep the Coconut Oil, the Carob (or cocoa if you prefer), and a sweetener. The rest is somewhat negotiable. This particular recipe fooled several chocoholics, and left them wanting more. They didn’t believe me when I told them it was actually very healthy :DYou’ll need a small ice cube tray (as in small cubes), or candy molds you can freeze.
This is for a small batch of maybe 15. The measurements are approximations, cuz that’s how I roll 😉 – add a little more or less of whatever to adjust for taste/texture as you please.

I call these Vibrant Almond Bites
—————————————
Prep time: 15 – 20 min
Total time (including time in freezer) 30 – 40 min

Mix:
– 3 Tbsp. Organic Extra Virgin Coconut oil (warm to make into a liquid)
– 1 Tsp. Organic Peanut Butter
– 3 Tbsp. (heaping) Raw Organic Carob Powder
– 2 Tbsp. non-GMO Xylitol (more or less according to taste – If you handle sugars well, you can also use raw coconut sugar or another glycemic friendly sweetener, but xylitol tastes amazing, adds a certain texture, and is completely sugar free – Stevia may also be used, although I find it too strong tasting for this recipe. You can cut the xylitol with stevia while maintaining the great flavor, with a sweetness that will fool even die-hard sugar junkies)
– 1/2 Tsp. Vanilla Extract
– Dash of Cinnamon
– Dash of Ginger
– 1 Tsp. Vitamineral Green (or other mild-tasting green powder)
– 1 Tsp. Mint Flavored Chlorophyll Extract
– 1/2 Cup Finely Chopped Dehydrated Salted Raw Sprouted Almonds (often available in bulk sections of heath food stores, or stores that cater to healthier crowds)
– Dash of Sea Salt

————————————–

Mix well, preferably in the order listed, make sure there are no lumps. Oil your ice cube tray or candy dish with a little bit of Coconut Oil so the candy doesn’t stick.
Drizzle from a spoon into tiny ice cube tray sections or into a candy mold. Freeze for 15 -20 min (until solid).
Crack like ice cubes onto a plate and place them into a container or candy dish for storage in the refrigerator (*IMPORTANT*.. candies must stay refrigerated or frozen! Coconut oil stays solid until it reaches around 70 degrees, and then it liquifies.. and so will your candy!)

Enjoy!
——————————————-

I made a variation today with Cashew Butter instead of Peanut Butter, and I mixed in some Holy Basil extract and some Maca Extract – wow! Totally amazing flavor.. the Holy Basil has a kind of floral clove flavor.. its really amazing. I might try to sell these 😀

Nina adds: carob might be nutritionally equal to chocolate, but it’s never going to be chocolate. that said. I actually like carob, but not when it’s pretending to be chocolate.
additional information:

Carob vs Chocolate

Carob vs Chocolate…. Which one is better for you?

Attitudes towards chocolate may have changed, but is it really a health food? Or, is carob healthier than chocolate? It’s time to examine the facts and settle those questions once and for all.

chocolate bread spread

Not many years ago, chocolate was considered a junk food – fit for desserts and sugary snacks.

Meanwhile, health conscious people ate carob.

Now (2010 at the time I’m writing this), chocolate is being promoted as a health food!

And carob has been pushed to the back burner.

If you’re not sure what carob is, click here to learn all about it.

Now for the facts about carob and chocolate – the good and the bad. The carob vs chocolate debate is on!

Carob vs Chocolate: The Good

~ Carob ~

  • Carob has it’s own natural sugars similar to what you find in honey and fruits. Unlike chocolate, you don’t have to add a lot of sweetener to make it taste good.
  • It’s an alkaline food
  • Contains 3 times as much calcium as chocolate.
  • High in fiber and protein
  • Full of antioxidants and polyphenols
  • Low in fat (contains about 1% fat compared to 24% fat in cocoa)
  • High in vitamins and minerals (contains iron, vitamin B, phosphorus, and magnesium)
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Doesn’t contain any harmful stimulants such as caffeine, theobromine, or theophylline
  • Not addictive
  • Safe enough for dogs to eat unlike chocolate which can seriously injure or kill them

~ Chocolate ~

  • Dark chocolate is high in flavanoids (antioxidants) which may help to lower blood pressure
  • Some of the fats in chocolate may help to lower cholesterol levels
  • Eating chocolate causes your body to produce endorphins which make you feel good
  • Chocolate also contains serotonin which acts like an antidepressant

Carob vs Chocolate: The Bad

~ Carob ~

  • Carob doesn’t taste like chocolate. But that’s not really a problem if you’re willing to accept the fact that carob has its own unique and delicious flavor.
  • Some brands of mainstream carob chips and candy may contain animal ingredients. Again, not a real problem if you’re into reading labels to make sure you’re getting a vegan product. Or, you can buy carob powder and make your own carob candy at home. I’ll be posting some yummy carob recipes in upcoming issues of my ezine restoration, so be sure to sign up. It’s free!

~ Chocolate ~

  • A lot of the antioxidants in chocolate are destroyed during traditional methods of roasting and fermenting the cocoa.
  • Chocolate is high in calories and fat (contains about 24% fat)
  • One of the fats in chocolate is palmitic acid, a saturated fat. It can raise your cholesterol levels and your risk for heart disease.
  • To get chocolate bars smooth and creamy even more oil is usually added
  • Chocolate is very bitter on its own. So, manufacturers add other ingredients such as milk, corn syrup, sugar, and artificial flavors to improve the taste.
  • Chocolate contains caffeine which is an addictive drug. It stimulates your heart and raises your blood pressure. It can also cause damage to your DNA.
  • Contains theobromine which is an alkaloid drug and a stimulant like caffeine. Theobromine may cause acne for some people.
  • Contains oxalic acid which binds with calcium in your digestive system and prevents you from being able to use the calcium. It also robs your body of stored calcium and causes you to lose it in your urine.
  • Also contains tyramine which is a trace amine that comes from the amino acid tyrosine. It can cause you to have headaches.
  • Chocolate makes your body acid rather than alkaline

My take on the carob vs chocolate debate?

Having a high antioxidant content is hardly a reason to make chocolate a part of your diet. Especially since many of those antioxidants are destroyed during processing.

Fact is, you can get plenty of health boosting antioxidants in so many other foods. Dark green leafy veggies, BarleyLife, berries, are just a few of them.

Click here to see my list of health promoting, antioxidant rich foods.

Eating chocolate also means you’re loading up on caffeine, theobromine, and other harmful substances at the same time. Clearly, the bad outweighs the good.

 

Raw Vegan Body Ecology Cranberry Smoothie is a real superfoods treat. Packed with almonds, avocados, ginger, lemons and of course, cranberries, this smoothie is in a class by itself.


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