Double Chocolate Cake.

This is the best chocolate vegan cake recipe that I tried so far. It’s always hard to make something to taste as good as the regular desserts and at the same time trying to use as many healthy ingredients as possible.

I wouldn’t call this cake completely healthy and guilt free but I was trying to make it as natural and delicious as possible.

The recipe asked for whole wheat pastry flour, which I don’t usually keep in my house, so I went to get it for  my cake. Don’t use the regular whole wheat flour, otherwise it will make your cake dense and heavy.

For the sugar I used raw cane sugar. Don’t replace it with coconut sugar, becuase it will dry out and crack the top of the cake.

Double Chocolate Cake. Vegan.

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Ingredients:

2 cups plant based milk ( almond, soy etc)

2tbsp apple cider vinegar

3/4 cup natural cane sugar

2/3 cup melted coconut oil

2tbsp pure vanilla extract

3 cups whole wheat pastry flour

2/3 cup cocoa powder

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp sea salt

Chocolate Avocado Frosting:

2 large ripe avocados

5 tbsp cocoa powder

5 tbsp maple syrup

2tsp pure vanilla extract.

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Make the frosting.

In a food processor, process the avocado until smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients and process again until smooth. Transfer to the fridge until ready to use. Believe it or not, but nobody ever guesses what is this frosting made of.

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly grease 8-inch cake pan and line the base with the parchment paper. In a medium bowl, stir together the milk and vinegar. This combination makes vegan buttermilk. Add sugar, oil and vanilla. Whisk to combine.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.

Pour the milk mixture over the flour mixture and beat with the mixer until smooth. Divide the batter between two cake pans.

Bake the cakes for 30-35 minutes. The cake is ready when it slowly springs back when touches and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Place pans on a cooling rack to cool for 20-25 min.

Once the cakes are completely cool, spread a layer of frosting on top. Place the second layer on top and gently push down to adhere. Continue frosting the rest of the cake. I garnished my cake with dried strawberries, but you can use shaved chocolate or other fruits. Next time I will try to put some from strawberries between layers, to make it taste more fresh.

Enjoy!!!!!

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Chickpea Salad Sandwich.

Great idea for quick, healthy lunch is making a sandwich.

There are not a lot of options for making your sandwich healthy, delicious and plant based protein packed.

Here is the great recipe which combine all these points: healthy, delicious with plant based protein.

Gluten, dairy free, vegan recipe.

Chickpea Salad Sandwich.

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Ingredients:

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 stalk celery, finely chopped

3 green onions, chopped

1/4 cup finelly chopped pickle

1/4 cup finely chopped bell pepper ( I used orange)

2 tbsp vegan mayonnaise ( homemade or store-bought)

1 clove garlic

2 tsp. minced fresh dill

2 tsp. fresh lemon juice

1/4 tsp sea salt

 

In a large bowl, mash the chickpeas with a potato masher until flaky in texture. Stir in the celery, green onion, bell pepper, pickles, mayonnaise, and garlic until combined. Add dill and season with the lemon juice and salt.

Serve with toasted bread of your choice, crackers or wrap.

Enjoy!!!!

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Crispy Nut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Easy and delicious cookies recipe I am sharing today is vegan, gluten, dairy, refined sugars free.

It does has nuts in it, but to make it nut free, you can use sunflower seeds butter instead of the nut butter and replace almond meal with extra oat flour.

These are my favorite ones because they are crispy and chewy at the same time.

Crispy Nut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies.

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Ingredients:

1 tbsp glound flaxseed

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup nut butter( I used Nuttzo)

3/4 cup coconut sugar

1tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup gluten-free oat flour( rolled oats blended into a flour)

1 cup almond meal

1/4 cup mini dark chocolate chips

 

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, mix together the flaxseed and water and set aside for 5 min.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the coconut oil and nut butter. Add sugar, flaxseed mixture and vanilla until combined. One by one, beat in the baking soda, baking powder, salt, oat flour, and almond meal. The dough should be lightly sticky. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Shape the dough into balls. Place the balls on the prepared baking sheet , leaving 2 to 3 inches of space between them. There is no need to flatten them as the cookies spread out as they bake.

Bake for 12-14 min., until golden brown on the bottom. The cookied will be soft coming out from the oven, but they will harden as they cool. Let them cool and enjoy!!!!!!

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Apple Crumble. Vegan.

Having snow storm warning in our area for two days keep us inside yesterday, but today after seeing all this snow outside we went sleighing because the weather and amount of snow let us to enjoy this frosty winter day.

Anyway, after coming back home everyone wanted something warm and sweet, so the apple crumble I made last night was the perfect choice for this.

The recipe is gluten, dairy, refined sugar free. It’s vegan and easy to make.

I guess in summer you can try to make it with berries, but my favorite one is still with the apples.

Vegan Apple Crumble.

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Ingredients:

Apple Filling:

6-7 heaping cups peeled and chopped apples

1tbsp. arrowroot powder

1/3 cup coconut sugar or coconut nectar

1tbsp chia seeds

1tsp ground cinnamon

1tbsp fresh lemon juice

Topping:

1 cup gluten-free rolled oats

1 cup chopped walnuts

1/3 cup almond flour

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/4 cup melted coconut oil

2 tbsp shredded coconut

1tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 375F .

Make the Apple Filling. Place the apple in a large bowl and sprinkle the arrowroot powder on top. Toss until combined. Stir in the sugar, chia seeds and cinnamon. Add the lemon juice. Pour the apple mixture into the prepared dish and smooth it out evenly.

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Make the topping. In a large bowl stir together the oats, walnuts, almond flour, maple syrup, melted coconut oil, shredded coconut, cinnamon until thoroughly mixed.

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Sprinkle the oat mixture all over the apple mixture in an even layer.

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Cover the dish with foil and poke a couple of air holes in the foil. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until the apples are just fork-tender. Uncover the dish and bake for 10 to 15 minutes more, until the topping is golden and fragrant.

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Serve with dairy-free ice cream or whipped coconut cream.

It’s healthy enough for breakfast the next day, too.

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Coconut Chocolate Cake.

Chocolate and Coconut combination. What can be better? Especially if you combine them in the healthy version of cake. This is the perfect recipe for special occasions, holidays, birthdays etc.

I made it last weekend after spending few days instead because Sophia has been sick for a week already. So to make myself busy and everybody else happy I made this delicious, chocolate, guilty free cake.

Gluten, dairy free with the vegan option( replace eggs with the flaxseed eggs).

 

Coconut Chocolate Cake.

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Ingredients:

Cake:

1.5 cups almond flour
½ cup raw cacao powder
½ cup raw coconut palm sugar
⅛ teaspoon salt
2 eggs, room temperature ( for vegan version replace with flaxseed eggs)
¼ cup coconut oil, melted
⅓ cup coconut milk, full fat
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Coconut Layer:

1.5 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
1 tablespoon raw honey
⅓ cup almond flour
¼ cup coconut oil, melted
¼ cup coconut milk, full fat

Chocolate Glaze:
½ cup 70% dark chocolate
1/4 cup coconut milk, full fat

 
Prepare your pan by greasing the bottom and sides of an 8-inch removable bottom pan with coconut oil, then cut a piece of parchment paper and place it on the bottom of the pan. Mix together the almond flour, cacao powder, coconut sugar and salt. In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs, coconut oil, coconut milk and vanilla extract.
Using a spatula, gently mix dry and wet ingredients together. Mix just until ingredients are combined, being careful not to over mix the batter
spread batter evenly in the pan and bake at 350°F until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, approximately 17 minutes.
Set pan over a wire rack to allow cake to cool.
Coconut Layer:
Mix all ingredients for the coconut layer together until everything is well combined. Spread the mixture over the top of the cooled cake in an even layer, then freeze for 10 minutes
Chocolate Glaze:
Slowly melt the dark chocolate in a bowl over simmering water (double boiler). Once chocolate is melted, stir in the coconut milk and mix until the glaze is smooth and shiny. Pour glaze over the top of the cake.
Refrigerate for about 2 hours or until the glaze is set. Tastes the best the next day.

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Is Grape Seed Oil Good For You?

I used to use the grape seed oil in my recipes before. Every time when something “healthy” comes out on the market you want to substitute it with something that sounds not too healthy. This is what happened with the Grape seed oil. Few years ago you could find the information that it’s good for you, it’s better than the other vegetable oils, it has a lot of vitamin E etc. By the way, you can still find those articles these days.

But the more you learn, the more knowledge you get about this or that product which turn out not healthy after all.

I made a lot of research about the Grape Seed Oil and found very interesting facts that I will share with you today. By the way, I don’t use it in my cooking more than a year now. and let me tell you why:

Grape Seed Oil is processed from the seeds of grapes, which are formed as a by-product of wine making.

For thousands of years, wine manufacturers have been left with tons of this useless by-product, grape seeds. Due to modern technological advances, they are now able to extract the oil from the seeds, something that wasn’t possible a hundred years ago. The oils are usually extracted in factories using an industrial process. It involves high heat and various chemicals, which includes the toxic solvent hexane.

The “healthier” types of seed- and vegetable oils are “cold pressed” or “expeller pressed” – this is a much more natural way to extract the oil from the seeds. If your oil doesn’t explicitly state how it is processed, then you should assume that it was extracted using chemicals like hexane.

Grape seed oil is extracted from grape seeds, a by-product of wine making. This process usually involves various chemicals, including the toxic solvent hexane.

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The health claims for grape seed oil are based on the supposedly high amounts of nutrients, antioxidants and polyunsaturated fats.

But here’s a newsflash… most of the nutrients and antioxidants (including the proanthocyanidins) from grape seeds are not present in the oil. After it has gone through the intense chemical extraction process, most of the good stuff has been filtered out.

The only nutrient left in there in any significant amount is Vitamin E. A tablespoon contains 3.9 mg of Vitamin E. However, calorie for calorie, grape seed oil is NOT an impressive source of Vitamin E. Other much better sources include nuts, spinach and various others, these foods also contain a ton of other beneficial nutrients instead of just Vitamin E alone.

One of the claims is true though: grape seed oil is very high in polyunsaturated fats. However, it is important to keep in mind that there are two main kinds of polyunsaturated fats: Omega-3s and Omega-6s.

We need to get these two types in a certain balance in order to maintain optimal health. Most people are eating too few Omega-3s and way too many Omega-6s (7). Many studies show that too many Omega-6s lead to poor health and disease. As it turns out, grape seed oil contains mostly Omega-6 fatty acids, the bad kind.

In several cases, grape seed oil has also been found to contain harmful levels of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) – substances that are known carcinogens in animals.

Really, there is nothing positive to be said about grape seed oil. It is bad news all around.

Grape seed oil has a high smoke point. For this reason, it is advertised as a good choice for high heat cooking like frying. This is based on a huge misunderstanding. The smoke point of an oil is NOT the determinant of whether it should be used for cooking or not. The number of double bonds in the fatty acid molecules is much more important.

Because grape seed oil is so incredibly high in polyunsaturated fats, it really is one of the worst oils you could possibly use for cooking.

The healthiest cooking oils are those that contain mostly saturated fats (like butter and coconut oil), because they don’t have double bonds and are therefore less likely to react with oxygen when heated.

Grape seed oil isn’t all bad… there are a lot of people who claim that it is good for moisturizing hair and skin. It is also used in massage and aromatherapy.

For this reason, it may have some topical benefits.

But really… this oil should NOT be eaten. There is nothing healthy about it.

Grape Seed Oil

Portobello Mushroom Burgers.

This recipe is from Kimberly Snyder’s book which I am a big fan of.

The main ingredient in the recipe is Portobello mushroom which has a lot of health benefits.

Nutrition for Portobello Mushroom
One cup of grilled portobello slices contains:
Calories: 42 kcal
Fat: 0.9 g
Carbohydrates: 5.9g
Protein: 5 g
Fiber: 2.7 g
Glycemic Index (GI): Low (below 55)
In addition to being low in fat and high in fiber, portobello mushrooms pack a serious nutritional punch. For example, they are an excellent source of selenium (very important mineral for optimal antioxidant activity), many of the B vitamins, and potassium. In addition, their polysaccharide and beta-glucan components exhibit anti-cancer properties.
When buying portobello mushrooms, look for smooth firm caps without wet slimy patches. Store them in the refrigerator inside a loosely closed paper bag or wrap them inside a damp cloth.

So this is the meatless alternative for the regular burger which is healthy and delicious.

Portobello Mushroom Burgers.

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Ingredients:

4 portobello mushroom caps or 8 ounces of diced portobello
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 tbsp. Vegetable Broth
1 clove minced garlic
3/4 cup finely chopped white onion
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
2 1/2 tbsp. organic ketchup
1/2 tbsp. thyme
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp sage
1 tbsp low sodium tamari (similar to soy sauce)
1 tsp sea salt
2 cups gluten free bread crumbs (I used
Mary’s Gone Crackers Just The Crumbs Bread Crumbs Gluten Free Original — 16 oz

brand)

Put Mushrooms and Parsley into a food processor and mix until completely blended. Then remove and place in a large mixing bowl. Heat vegetable broth in a large skillet on medium heat. Add onions and sauté for about 3 minutes, add garlic and sauté another 2-3 minutes until onions are almost translucent and then finally add celery for an additional 3 minutes. Add onion mixture to the mushroom mixture. Stir in the remaining ingredients, cover and place in the fridge for at least 45 minutes. Pre-heat oven to 350. Remove the burgers from the fridge, form into patties (wet your hands a little to prevent sticking) and place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake the burgers for about 20 minutes.

Serve with a salad, on the bun, on romaine lettuce hearts etc.

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