Brownie (sugar and gluten free)

Yummy! I have found a good ratio of ingredients for a home-made brownie! Of course, there were no sugar, no gluten, no butter. We both say this is a best brownie in our life 🙂

Ingredients:

Bananas – 2 pieces;

Baking powder – 1 tea spoon;

Cacao nibs or cacao powder – 7 tea spoons;

Water – 50 ml;

Eggs – 2 pieces;

Coconut oil – 3-4 tablespoons;

Flaxseeds – 4-5 tablespoons;

Brown rice flour – 4-5 tablespoons;

Dates – 7-10 pieces;

Walnuts – by your taste.

I whip bananas, baking powder, cacao nibs and water up in a blender. In a separate bowl I whip eggs and coconut oil by hand mixer. Then I add a liquid from the blender to the bowl and mix it together. Then add a grounded flaxseeds and a rice flour. You can also add an additional cacao nibs or powder. The wight should be enough thick. Finally I add there a chopped dates and spread in a silicone shape for baking. But before I sprinkle this with grated walnuts. And put it to bake for 35 minutes at 180C.

Homemade brownie is a great desert or breakfast for a healthy Christmas and New Year holidays! 🙂

 

Choco shock

A month ago I organized an excursion to the small chocolate factory owned by a French couple in Saigon. It took us two hours to get there, and it is considered extremely long by local standards. However, it really was worth the trouble. From this time on, cacao nibs are a must-have in our kitchen.

You can see cacao nibs in the picture of my brownie. The harvested and dried cocoa beans are then roasted and cracked. After that, cocoa butter is produced using the hydraulic press. Cocoa butter is the most valuable product in chocolate production process. The extraction process also produces cocoa powder, which is not as costly as cocoa butter, but is quite healthy too. To produce a chocolate bar, cocoa powder is mixed again with cocoa butter. Then sugar is added for sweetness. The sort of chocolate depends on other ingredients added to basic ones. Milk chocolate contains much milk; aerated chocolate consists of much air. By the way, white chocolate actually has no chocolate. There is no cocoa powder in it and cocoa butter is replaced by palm oil. Basically, if you study chocolate bar labels in detail, you will find out that of chocolate there is only color left in them, the rest is sugar, palm oil and emulsifiers.

Still, even the most expensive and darkest chocolate bars have not as much chocolate as we would like (French chocolate factory in Saigon is an exception, as chocolate there is hand-made and of premium quality). My boyfriend is an avid sweet tooth. After the chocolate factory excursion he went to the supermarket and studied all the chocolate bar labels possible. From now on, he is going to eat nothing but my homemade sweets.

And here is the recipe of my first brownie. You can easily substitute cacao nibs by cocoa powder. The result will be the same!

  • 2 bananas
  • 80g cacao nibs/ cocoa powder (grind cocoa beans in blender or coffee mill)
  • 4 tablespoons rice flour
  • 3 tablespoons buckwheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds (grind them in blender or coffee mill)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (it’s up to you, I like to add it to my pastry)
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 200ml coconut milk (can be replaced by any kind of milk)
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar for sweetness (can be replaced by honey or dates)
  • Walnut – optional.

Whisk bananas, cacao nibs and agave nectar or dates. In a separate bowl beat eggs, cinnamon, coconut oil, coconut milk and baking soda. Blend in both mixtures, whisk and add flour. Then stir in ground walnuts. Heat oven to 200 degrees. Pour mixture into a baking dish and bake for 25 minutes.

I have baked brownies twice recently. And our family council has concluded that cooled down brownies taste better and tend to reveal a more vivid chocolate flavor.

I recommend you to prepare fresh ginger and lemon tea to your brownie. Just put some ginger and a little of lemon juice into a teapot, add hot water and in 10 minutes your flavored tea is ready!

Raw cashew-coconut cake for May Day

There are official holidays in many countries in May. Usually I do my best to use this time and organize short trips somewhere. But I decided to have home-style holidays at this time with an intensive eco, healthy schedule. I am going to:

  • Read books and prepare new information for my blog.
  • Enjoy massage and new hair-cut;
  • Cook new main dishes and deserts. We eat at home at least 80% of the total numbers of meals. And we are going to follow the same way during holidays;
  • Go for family gym workouts and tennis. And practicing new workout program;
  • Meditate with Headspace app daily;
  • Practice yoga at home every morning;

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Yesterday I tried to make a new raw desert for us: coconut and nuts cake with mango. There are three different levels in this cake, which I put in a silicone mold of the shape for banana bread. And then put it in the freeze for a night.

Ingredients

Lower brown layer:

  • Almonds grounded in a blender – 100 g;
  • Raisins – 100 g;
  • Some water;
  • Raw cacao powder – 2 tbs.

Middle white layer:

  • Cashews, pre-soak in water for 2 hours – 100 g;
  • Coconut milk to taste;
  • Dried coconut to taste.

Upper layer:

  • The same ingredients like in a white layer;
  • Mango – 1 piece (you can replaced mango by berries or other fruit which gives you a color).

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You should blend all ingredients for each layers and lay our in a mold in the queue. I have read many different similar recipes in the Internet before. All of them said you should keep your desert in a freezer for 4–6 hours or overnight. So I did. It is also recommended to out a desert in a room temperature for 10–15 minutes before serving. But we tried this cold desert and due to our family council came to the conclusion this is not a good idea to eat a quite cold food for the digestion. Therefore, the desert was sent in the refrigerator defrosted naturally slow for a half a day. We guessed it! The cake turned into a soft and delicate mass of layers with a variety of flavors!

Dietary muffins

I don’t remember why and how I decided to cook dietary muffins this year. But recently I cook them quite often for our nice family weekends. I have tried different options of recipe. Firstly, I added a homemade cottage cheese, but I don’t eat dairy products for half a year now. So I created the different recipes and the taste is even much better. And now this is definitely dietary muffins without gluten, sugar, dairy products and butter.

Ingredients and proportions for six muffins:

  • 2 small organic eggs + 1 egg white;
  • 1 teaspoon of stevia (or teaspoon of honey);
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon;
  • 1 teaspoon of coconut oil;
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda;
  • 4 tablespoons of buckwheat flour;
  • 4 tablespoons of coconut or brown rice flour;
  • 6 pieces of mashed dates;
  •  2 mashed bananas with 1 teaspoon of organic cacao;
  • dried apricots or raisins to your taste.

I put dried apricots into hot water for 10 minutes. They swell up and the taste becomes very tender.

While dried apricots are soaking I’m mixing all the ingredients adding one after another. Then I put paste in baking cups filling them half and then bake for 20-25 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius.

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I cooked such muffins several times. You’ll have the tenderest taste if you add soaked apricots 🙂

One more nice option is to mash a carrot instead of dates with bananas and cacao.

Bon appetite!

Healthy, sweet and energy snack

This Saturday night I decided to cook some healthy snacks to eat during the tomorrow’s journey. I chose one of the energy snacks, which are energy balls. I tasted them in Bali at Desa Seni resort. I was sitting outside after yoga, enjoying fresh air and sipping ginger tea. One ball supplies you with energy for two hours.

Recipes can differ but all of them include crushed nuts and dried fruits, sometimes honey, dried coconut and cottage cheese. The best thing is that you can cook them in 15 minutes, of course, if you have all the ingredients. For example I always have some almond flour at home.

I put 100 grams of raisins to the blender, then mixed it with the almond flour (about 100 grams) and added 3 teaspoons of honey. Then I rolled it up with my wet palms into bite-size balls and put an almond nut into the center of every ball. Then I rolled them in cacao and sesame and put into the fridge for the whole night.

The next morning we took them with us to our journey to Dalat, Vietnam. Energy balls can be an excellent snack before or after workout. Also you can use them as a healthy replacement for candies or as a dessert.

Healthy sweets: cottage cheese and fruit cake

Every weekend I cook tasty and healthy sweets. I should mention that I do not use wheat flour and oatmeal because they contain gluten. I do not eat it since I have read many articles and researches about it couple of years ago. So this time I baked cottage cheese and banana cake with an orange and mango on my own recipe 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons of stevia
  •  2 spoons of coconut flour
  • 2 spoons of rice flour
  • 4-5 bananas
  • 250 grams of non-fat cottage cheese
  • The peel of one orange
  • Mango
  •  15 grams of casein protein for the decoration (can be replaced with a yoghurt)

Mix two eggs with the stevia, and then add rice and coconut flours. You can use only rice flour or mix it with wheat flour (if you eat it). I do not recommend using just coconut flour because there is too much calories in it. I like the taste when coconut flour is mixed with some other. Then mix bananas, cottage cheese and grated orange peel in a blender, and then add flour and eggs. Then put everything to the form and put it to the oven for 30 minutes.

The decoration is up to you. I mixed mango and casein protein in a blender and used some orange peel with a slices of almond.

After the cake is ready you should put it in the fridge for 1-2 hours or for the whole night.

We ate it for breakfast and as a snack during the day. It is delicious and it just melts in the mouth.