Sunday, March 27, 2011

Chocolat Covered Chips

Now, this is NOT, I repeat, N-O-T a healthy food by ANY MEANS. This treat should be considered one of those, once in a great while treats... definitely not a staple.

I was perusing a site that has become a new obsession of mine, Manifest Vegan, and discovered among the archives a post about Chocolate Covered Potato Chips... I was intrigued. Very intrigued. What a BIZARRE sounding idea! But, one that I decided to try.

Now, my chips don't look nearly as amazing as Allyson's, but they are tasty none the less.

All I did was melt some Baker's UNSWEETENED chocolate, (3 oz.) along with 3 TBSP NON HYDROGENATED PALM SHORTENING, and 2 1/2 TBSP RAW Agave Nectar... (You can use less agave if you would like. For a thicker chocolate, you can use a little less shortening as well.

For instructions on how to melt chocolate correctly, please see my CHOCOLAT post.

Once melted thoroughly, remove from heat, and let cool slightly. It will thicken a little more at this point. Then take some chips, (I used Classic LAYS) and dip them in to the chocolate... Next time, I might just dip HALF the chip to get more of the salty flavor added with the sweetness of the chocolate.

Then set on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, and place in the refrigerator or freezer for at least 45 minutes. Then, eat and enjoy... in moderation! ha ha.


HFCS... making people fat is just one of the perks

I have been trying to avoid High fructose Corn syrup like the plague... but it is in SO MUCH! I can't believe all the products that have it in it. Why? It's a cheap alternative to other sweeteners.

People wonder why obesity has reached epidemic proportions among our children, and why Type 2 Diabetes is no longer considered "adult onset" Diabetes. What about all this hullabaloo about our children's generation being the first in a very long time not expected to out live it's parents. That is a SCARY SCARY statistic.

A short answer could be HFCS. There are MANY more factors involved obviously, but the fact of the matter is, if you cut out HFCS from your diet, you will see better health (maybe not perfect health)... I know from personal experience.

Here is just a little video that I thought was hysterical, and spot on about the attitudes towards HFCS, and the accompanying results those attitudes can lead to.

I also want to say that I am not trying to offend anyone. I mean, this is mostly a dessert site, and I am not perfect. I may give my son more treats than he should have. I do believe in moderation when it comes to sweets, and I am picky about the types of sweets he has. I am refined sugar free, but that doesn't necessarily make me the healthiest person in the world either. I just think we need to understand what we are putting in to our bodies, (and the bodies of our children) and make informed decisions about it. We shouldn't turn a blind eye to the effects of certain food products because of lobbyist propaganda...

I am NOT a nutritionist, a dietitian, or a doctor... just a parent, a human being, and a person who genuinely cares about the nutritional decline in our society.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays

I entered my grasshopper pudding recipe over on Simply Sugar and Gluten Free's Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays today. You should check it out! It's a great meet up of food bloggers.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

toffee-esque almond flour cookies

Tonight I made my sweet little boy some delicious cookies. Cookies that were so yummy, that my picky, anti-sweets, gluten eating, dairy loving, carnivore husband said were AMAZING. Yup. 

I recently purchased a book called The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook by Elana Amsterdam. It looks a little something like this: 


This book is FILLED with amazing information on the benefits of almond flour, and natural sugars. She is a wealth of knowledge. In the book, one of the recipes really caught my eye. It was called the TROPICAL CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES. They sounded amazing, but I decided to tweak it tonight and try something a little different. 
Instead of shredded coconut and chopped cashews, I substituted my homemade Candied Nut Crumble.

Here is what I came up with: 

2 1/2 Cups almond FLOUR (Check out Lexie's Kitchen to find out how to make your own!)**I made my own in an old blender on pulse and then sifted it.**
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 Cup coconut oil, (melted over low heat) (you can also use palm shortening)
1/2 Cup RAW ORGANIC Agave Nectar
1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract (gluten free)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line your cookie sheets with parchment paper. 

In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking soda, and mix together until well blended. 

In a separate bowl, combine the coconut oil, agave nectar and vanilla and mix it until it is well mixed together. 

Combine ingredients and mix until a batter forms and you feel that it is well mixed together. Using a wooden spoon, mix in the chocolat chunks and candied nuts crumble until it is evenly dispersed. 

Using a cookie scoop, or a regular spoon, spoon the dough on to the cookie sheets leaving at least two inches between the cookies as they will spread. No need to flatten. 

Bake for approximately 8-10 minutes. Let cool on the sheets for 10-15 minutes before letting them cool completely on a paper bag. 

Eat and enjoy!  


Candied Nut Crumble

I am a big fan of candied nuts. I didn't used to be. My mother would eat candied nuts and I would gag. But as I grew to be an adult, I converted to a love of candied nuts. But what to do when you can't have butter or refined sugar? Say goodbye to carnival candied nuts in those little paper cones. But tonight, while making a new batch of cookies for my son, I decided to try being creative, and VOILA! Refined sugar free candied nuts were born right there in my kitchen!

This recipe is my own. I didn't borrow it from anyone. I didn't tweak someone else's hard work. From start to finish this is mine. I think this would make an EXCELLENT topping to an apple crisp or peach cobbler to make it gluten free and A-MAY-ZA-ZING! (I would just add the crumble topping to the cobbler during the last 10-15 minutes of baking to prevent the nuts from burning).


1 1/4 Cup whole or chopped nuts of choice (I used chopped cashews and macadamia nuts for this)
1/4 Cup Coconut Oil
1 Tbsp gluten free vanilla extract
1/2 - 1 Tbsp (or to taste) ground cinnamon
3 Tbsp palm sugar

In a medium pan, melt the coconut oil over low heat until melted. Add the chopped nuts and stir constantly. Make sure all the nuts are coated with oil. You will probably have excess oil. That is okay.

Next add the vanilla, and stir, stir, stir! Make sure you get vanilla mixed in with all the nuts. (You can add more vanilla if you like).

Next add the cinnamon, by dusting it over all the nuts, giving it an even coating, then stir again making sure that the cinnamon gets mixed in well.

Add the Palm sugar in 1 Tbsp at a time, to absorb the excess oil. You can stop adding sugar once you feel that all the oil is soaked up by the dry ingredients, or add all of the remaining palm sugar. (You can add more if you need to).

Stir until the nuts are a little more brown, and then scrape all contents on to a plate to let cool. You can put them in to the fridge to cool off faster, or just leave them out until they are cool enough to eat or put in to a plastic storage bag. Store in the fridge. (Try to use it within a week).

This is great to add to granola, or trail mix or just to eat by itself. As I said already it would be excellent in cobbler recipes too. I think it is pretty rich and sweet, so I don't need many to curb my cravings for sweet and crunchy!


Thursday, March 3, 2011


That was my Homer Simpson impression... And for your viewing pleasure, I present the pictures of my latest creation...

Okay, okay, I'm sorry about the sprinkles. I just added them to make them prettier. The sprinkles are NOT refined sugar free, but my son asked for them, and so I obliged.

These donuts were made in my BRAND SPANKIN' NEW Wilton DONUT PAN! (It just came today from Amazon)!

We opened the box, and my little one said, "DONUTS! Can we make donuts for MEEEE?!" How could I resist that?

So, I scoured the internet, (Starting with my side bar) for a gluten free donut recipe, and came across the amazing Cybele Pascal's recipe for gluten free, VEGAN donuts! SCORE! I had to adapt it slightly because of the refined sugars, and here is Cybele's recipe with a few of my own tweaks:

  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons rice milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cup GF All Purpose Flour 
  • 1/8 teaspoon xanthan gum or guar gum
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon double-acting baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup Spectrum Organic Palm Shortening
  • 1/2 cup palm sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Ener-G egg replacer mixed with 2 Tablespoons rice milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Chocolate Glaze (my own recipe below)

Here are Cybele's directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Combine rice milk with lemon juice and set aside.
  3. Measure out flour mix by spooning flour into a dry measuring cup, then leveling it off with a straightedge, or the back of a knife. (Do not scoop the flour directly with the measuring cup or you’ll wind up with too much flour for the recipe). Combine flour mix with xanthan gum, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Whisk well. Set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine vegetable shortening, granulated sugar, egg replacer, and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed, until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  5. Sift in the flour mixture in three bathes, alternating with the rice milk, and beginning and ending with the flour mixture.  Beat until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary, about 30 seconds.
  6. Using a teaspoon, spoon the batter into an ungreased non-stick donut pan, filling  each donut cup about 7/8th full. Do not over fill them or they’ll rise too much. Smooth down batter with back of teaspoon to even surface, then wrap pan firmly against counter a few times to really settle batter into pan.
  7. Bake 15 minutes in center of oven until lightly golden. Remove from oven and let cool in pan 5 minutes on a cooling rack.  Invert onto rack and wrap back of pan lightly to dislodge donuts.  Let cool on rack to room temperature.  

Here is my very own recipe for a chocolate glaze. I thought chocolate and coconut would go well together as a topping for this donut. I hope you enjoy!


1 oz Baker's 100% chocolate
1 heaping TBSP cocoa powder
1 1/2 TBSP Coconut Oil
1 1/2 TBSP Raw Agave Nectar (or to taste... use your best judgment).

Melt all ingredients in a double boiler or in two pots as described in my Chocolat post.

Stir constantly, until completely melted. Remove from heat, and let sit for approximately 5 minutes. Dip the donuts in the chocolate glaze, let the excess drip off, and set the donuts aside to cool and set.

Then, add your own embellishments, or leave them plain like me.

Eat and enjoy!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Exit Soda, Enter Smoothie

Yes, I am one of "those people" who drinks a green smoothie every day. Well... I try. Most of the time it is every day, but there are days when my time gets the best of me and I don't get it that day... Usually on those days I don't have nearly as much energy or feel like I've done as good for my body. It's strange what your body starts to crave when you change your diet all around...

You see, I used to crave chocolate all the time. ALL THE TIME. Or cookies or something equally bad for me. I was addicted to sugar. If I went a day without Coke I thought I was going to die. Nowadays, I don't even miss candy bars or the nectar of the Gods Coke. Now, I crave good things like fruits or my green smoothies. I still miss pizza and sometimes cake donuts, and cookies, but those days are fewer and fewer as of late. I have found that I am much more sensitive to sweetness now. But, I think that with anything, it has to become habit. The more you eat well, the more you want to.

In our house, we call green smoothies, "REPTAR JUICE." My son who is 3, was introduced to the Rugrats, and quickly became just as obsessed with the dinosaur Reptar as Tommy, Chucky, Phil and Lil. Don't worry though, we nixed that pretty fast because of how mean Angelica is, but the Reptar obsession remained. Which, I think, is kinda cool.

(REPTAR picture is not my own. I found it on the internet here).

So, how do you make REPTAR JUICE?

Well here in my kitchen it goes a little something like this:

(Makes enough for 1-3 people)
1 Cup NON DAIRY MILK (Usually Cashew Milk)
1 Cup 100% Apple Juice or Apple Cider
2 handfuls of FRESH BABY SPINACH (My handfuls are big)
1 Cup Frozen fruit of choice (I LOOOOVE WAWONA... I get a big bag at Costco)
1 Medium ripe banana
(Add more juice or milk if you need to)

Add all ingredients in to a high powered blender such as my beautiful, amazing, glorious, handy dandy, Vitamix 5200. Blend until smooth. Pour and enjoy.

If this is what "healthy" tastes like, why did I wait so long?!