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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Double Chocolate Muffin Tops (GF Vegan, oil-free, refined sugar free)

My mom told me she was craving chocolate so I decided to indulge her with a delicious yet nutrient-dense dessert. These muffin tops are allergy-friendly, fudge-y, and have a light molasses flavor. These beat Vita Tops any day! They're even picky 3-year-old approved ;)

Double Chocolate Muffin Tops (GF Vegan, oil-free, refined sugar free)

Yields: 12 | Time: 1 hour

3/4 cup oat flour
3/4 cup almond flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp pink salt

1 cup date paste (7 large medjools *175g* and 1/4 cup+ water)
1 flax egg (1 heaping tbs golden flaxmeal + 3 tbs water)
1/4 cup blackstrap molasses*
1/3 cup plain applesauce
3 tbs choice plant milk
1.5 tbs coconut sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
72 chocolate chunks**

* If you don't like the taste of molasses, date syrup is a nutritious alternative
** I recommend Enjoy Life brand

Mix the flaxmeal and water in a small bowl. Add the dates to a small bowl of water to soak. Wait 10 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350F/177C.
Pit the dates and add to a small food processor with water. Blend until smooth.
Sift all the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl.
In another bowl, mix all the wet ingredients gently with a spoon.
Pour in half of the dry ingredients, fold, pour in the rest and fold again until incorporated.
Add a tablespoon of batter into each muffin mold (use a silicone tin so there's no sticking).
Add six chocolate chunks to each muffin and top with the remaining batter.
Bake for 26-28 minutes depending on how fudge-y you want them.
Remove from the oven and let cool/rest for 20 minutes.
Squeeze the molds gently from underneath before popping the muffins out.
Serve with a tall glass of cold plant milk!

Enjoy :)

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Nutrition facts (per muffin):
Calories: 160
Fat: 5.8
Sat: .5g
Protein: 3.5g
Carbs: 26g
  Fiber: 4g
Manganese 29% DV
Magnesium 12% DV
Potassium 14% DV
Copper 14% DV
Calcium 9% DV
Iron 12% DV
Selenium 5% DV

Update: Since these were such a big hit I decided to make them again but I realized halfway through I was out of dairy-free baking chips. Using my quick thinking I threw in some peanuts instead and they were fab! Good for those lovers of chocolate and peanut flavors together - but who isn't?

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Chole Bhature (GF V HCLF)

I love Indian night at our house! My dad and I love a good curry. My mom? She can't handle the heat. If you can't either then don't make this dish because cutting back on the heat would be chipping away at the foundation of the dish.

Serves: 3-4 | Time: 25-45 minutes

Main ingredients:
3 cups cooked chickpeas
1 cup fat-free coconut milk 
1 tsp cumin powder
1/8-1/4 cayenne powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp amchur/mango powder
1/2 tsp black or pink salt
1 cup filtered water

Paste ingredients:
1 pint of grape tomatoes
1/2 medium red onion
1/2 inch ginger
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp green curry paste

Tempering spices:
2 bay leaves
2-3 whole cloves
a pinch of asafoetida/hing
1 tsp cumin seeds or 1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 inch cinnamon or 1/2 tsp ceylon cinnamon
2 green cardamom or 1/8-1/4 tsp cardamom powder
2-3 black peppercorns or 1/4 heaping tsp black pepper

1/4-1/2 cup chopped cilantro
Lemon slices

Soak 1-1.5 cups of dried chickpeas overnight. Cook for 30 minutes and strain. Alternately use 2 cans of precooked chickpeas. Rinse and drain those, if using. Set aside.
Blend the ingredients for the paste in a food processor, set aside. If, like me, you're sensitive to onions then you might want to pre-cook the onion.
Add the tempering spices to a hot pan and stir for a few minutes. Pour in the paste and bring to a simmer. Stir in the chickpeas.
Add the spices, water and coconut milk. Stir and cover. Simmer for 15 minutes.
Serve with coconut or plain basmati rice and garnish with chopped cilantro. This is also great with flatbreads. I steamed some carrots which my mom said was a nice touch.

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Friday, December 12, 2014

Banana Date Muffins (GF Vegan, soy free, oil free)

Ever find yourself with a lot of ripe bananas? Sure, you could freeze them and make ice cream or a smoothie, but why not do what mom did? Make banana bread! Minus the eggs, milk, and who knows what else ;)

Yields: 14 muffins or 12 muffins and 2 ramekins | Time: 40 min

1/2 cup buckwheat flour*
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup millet flour
1/4 cup brown rice flour
1 tbs baking powder
2 tsp ceylon cinnamon

4 very ripe bananas, mashed
1 cup plain applesauce
1/2 cup plant milk
1/4 cup + 2 tbs water
8 pitted medjool dates
2 tsp vanilla extract

* I buy coconut and brown rice flour, but it is healthier to mill your own. I have a coffee grinder that I use to make millet, buckwheat, teff, and other flours.

Preheat the oven to 400F/205C
Sift together the dry ingredients in a bowl. In a small food processor, add the dates and water. Blend until smooth. In a large mixing bowl, mash the bananas and add all the wet ingredients. Stir. Add half the dry ingredients to the wet, stir, and repeat. Stir well as the mix will be thick.
In a silicone muffin tray, spoon in the mix. I filled them almost completely because gf banana muffins don't rise as much as others. Brush two ramekins with coconut oil and add the remaining batter.
Bake for 30-32 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool (about 30 minutes) before removing.
Enjoy with a refreshing glass of plant milk!

Adapted from:

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Monday, December 8, 2014

Coconut Carrot Curry (GF Vegan)

For those that need a good soup to warm up with this cold weather, try this creamy curry full of vitamins and warming spices.

Serves: 2-4 | Time: 40 min

13 med-large carrots
1/2-3/4 onion, chopped
1 can light coconut milk
2 cups vegetable broth
2 stalks of celery with leaves
2 large roasted red peppers
3 dried bay leaves
1/2 tsp celery seeds
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp nigella sativa
2 inches organic ginger
1/2 tsp green curry paste
1/2 tsp TJ dry chili paste
1/4 tsp tamarind
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp garam masala

Grab a large pot and place over medium heat. Add just enough water to cover the bottom. When it begins to sizzle, add the bay leaves, mustard seeds, celery seeds, and nigella sativa (black cumin/kalonji). Temper for a few minutes and make sure the seeds pop. Add the veggie stock and cover.

Wash and peel (if necessary) your carrots. Dice roughly. Chop your onion as well. Mince your ginger. My mom is not a fan of how ginger tastes and my dad doesn't like the little strings you get from it sometimes. My trick is to place the ginger inside a tea leaf steeping spoon and place it in the broth for 5 minutes as it heats up. I then toss half the ginger and keep the rest. You can modify this however you want.

Now add the carrots and onions to your pot and cook for 20 minutes. We're not using a lot of stock because I don't want the end soup to be too thin and I don't want the taste of the coconut to be overwhelmed. However, you can add more liquid towards the end if you prefer it thinner.

Make sure the carrots are soft enough to blend. Remove the bay leaves and add the coconut milk, roasted red peppers, and spice pastes. I enjoy spicy food - not too spicy, but I don't mind a little burn - but if you don't then omit the chili paste. I'm using a stick blender because I'm too lazy to transfer to and from a food processor. Blend until relatively smooth (or leave it a tad chunky if you prefer). Cook for an additional 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, mince the celery. I like to add this towards the end to add a little texture to the soup. If you want a smooth soup then you'll want to add this before blending. Add the remaining spices and cook for 5 minutes. Taste and adjust spices accordingly. I didn't use too much curry powder because I want to be able to taste all the different components of the soup.

Spoon into bowls and allow to cool a bit before enjoying. Sprinkle with the celery leaves from an extra treat! This soup is perfect served with flatbreads or over basmati rice.

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