One of the benefits of all of the crazy things that have been going on with my health lately is that I have discovered that I no longer have an allergy (or at least a reaction) to chocolate.
This is one thing that has been fun to add back to my diet (in small amounts of course) and I am enjoying being able to try out some new recipes that I would have had to pass by only a few short months ago.
But I am still eating mostly dairy-free, and now that I have managed to go several months without refined sugar I am reluctant to fall back on baking or cooking with it.
Enter Dark Chocolate Pudding made with coconut milk and honey. Dairy free, and free of refined sugar.
This is a very rich pudding, slightly bitter, and full of dark chocolate flavour. The original recipe called for just 2 tablespoons of honey, but I added a couple more for a slightly sweet dessert. Hubby added spoonfuls of sugar and a drizzling of chocolate sauce to his bowl and it still wasn’t to his liking, so this might be one for dark chocolate fans only!
Dark Chocolate Pudding made with Coconut Milk and Honey
The original recipe comes from this cookbook .
- 3 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup arrowroot powder
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 can coconut milk
- 4 ounces dark chocolate (I used an organic dark chocolate bar)
- 4 tbsp honey
- 2 large egg yolks
Whisk egg yolks. Pour in a small amount of the hot coconut milk mixture, whisking continuously, then pour the eggs into the pot and continue to whisk until the mixture is smooth and it coats the back of a spoon. (I use a candy thermometer to make sure the pudding has reached at least 160 degrees to kill any bacteria that might be hiding in the egg yolks.)
Pour into ramekins or small bowls, place a piece of plastic wrap against the surface so it doesn’t form a skin, and refrigerate until ready to serve.
I LOVE these cookies. I love what they don’t have in them (no oils, no refined sugar, no dairy, wheat) and I love what they do have in them (oats and spelt and honey and peanut butter), but most of all I just love them because they taste good. And Hubby gives them the thumbs up too, which is saying a lot for a generally healthy cookie.
They are based on this recipe, but adapted to exclude wheat and dairy. The original recipe calls them “breakfast cookies” but I think they make a yummy dessert or snack too. And change up the nut butter, the dried fruit, and the liquid and the possible variations are endless! (How about cashew apple raisin? Or almond orange cranberry?)
Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Cookies
- 1/2 cup mashed banana
- 1/2 cup natural peanut butter (or other nut butter)
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tbsp almond milk (or other liquid)
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup spelt flour (or other flour)
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 cup raisins (or other dried fruit)
Combine the banana, peanut butter, honey, vanilla, and almond milk until smooth. In a small bowl, stir together oats, flour, cinnamon and baking soda and then combine with the peanut butter banana mixture. Fold in raisins.
Drop spoonfuls onto greased or parchment-lined pans, and flatten with a wet spatula. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool on wire racks.
I am slowly getting the hang of this new way of eating. One of my friends said to me the other day that watching me do this has made her more aware of just how much wheat she eats. All I can say is, me too. Bread, muffins, biscuits, cookies, fruit crisp, cake, oh how I miss my baking!
I have also discovered that there is definitely a learning curve to baking without wheat. Especially when you also aren’t eating eggs. But…ta-da! Some moist, delicious, yummy, muffins! The inspiration came from here. I used ground flax instead of eggs and after reading a lot about guar gum and xanthan gum I have decided they aren’t something I want to add into my diet. But chia seeds to the rescue! I read here that you can substitute chia (or ground flax) for gums – hooray! And so, muffins are back into my life! I made this batch with raisins and almonds, but think I might experiment with some fresh fruit for the next batch.
- 1/4 cup oil
- 1/4 cup applesauce
- 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
- 1/4 water
- 1/2 Tablespoon of ground flax seed mixed with 1 1/2 tablespoons of water
- 1/2 tsp chia seed mixed with 1 1/2 tsp hot water
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 cup brown rice flour
- 1/2 tsp cinamon
- 1/2 tsp ginger
- 1/4 cup nuts or seeds
- 1/4 cup dried fruit
As I am working at adjusting to this new way of eating, there are certain foods I crave more than others. Nachos is one of them. Crispy tortilla chips, topped with spicy beans, salsa, veggies, laden with cheese and baked in the oven until it becomes a hot, melty mess. Yum.
But nacho chips are not on my list of acceptable foods at the moment. (and please, let’s not even talk about cheese, ok?)
So imagine my excitement when I learned I could make my own, healthier, baked version of this favourite food! (Insert dance of joy!)
This is so easy to do, and unlike some “healthier” substitutes, it does not taste like a poor version of the real thing, but has the same great corn crunch as the orginal.
Ready to see how easy this is?
Baked Tortilla Chips
First, you need corn tortillas. If you are lucky, you can buy these at your local supermarket. If you are even luckier, you can buy sprouted corn tortillas at your supermarket or health food store, which are even better for you. Not being able to find either, I, of course, learned how to make my own. (This is also ridiculously simple – I promise I’ll share the recipe later, but if you can’t wait to make your own I found the recipe on my bag of Maseca – the flour the tortillas are made from)
Heat your oven to 375. Use a pizza cutter to cut your tortillas into quarters.
Toss with olive oil and herbs or spices of your choice. (I used chipotle chili, garlic, and a sprinkle of salt.)
Lay out the tortillas in a single layer on a baking pan.
Bake for about ten minutes, or until crispy. (Thicker tortillas may take longer.)
Done! Cover with your favourite nacho toppings and enjoy!
That bright orange processed-looking cheese is actually a sauce made from cashews and roasted red peppers and it is delicious. You can find the recipe here (this was my inspiration for baked tortilla chips, too!)
Any other nacho fans out there? What are your favourite toppings?
As we are coming to the end of my Pinterest experiment I found I still had a lot of random photos of recipes I have tried, but that do not necessarily lump together well as I have done in other Pinterest posts. So, in no particular order, here is some more Pinterest recipe love:
Considering how labour intensive lasagna making can be, this was quite easy. I used cottage cheese instead of the Ricotta, and regular cheeses instead of the skim versions, but other than that made the recipe as written. It cooked quickly enough to be a week-might meal, and will definitely grace our dinner table again!
The taco seasoning we used to buy at the grocery store was full of ingredients I could not pronounce (always a sign that something isn’t quite “real” food.) So when it comes to seasoning meat or tofu for our favourite Mexican meals, I always make my own seasoning. But having lost the recipe I was using (I am sure I put it somewhere “safe”) I quickly turned to Pinterest for a new one. I liked this mix and will use it again!
Sourdough Burger Buns
I have been wanting to make my own burger buns for a while. And I am always looking for uses for my sourdough starter. In comes this recipe. I actually have made this one twice. The first time the buns were absolutely perfect. The second time they were a little crumbly. But both times they tasted good – even Hubby ate them!
Raspberry Oatmeal Smoothie
I have become an oatmeal smoothie convert. And the raspberry flavour is wonderful in this version. I made mine with almond milk in place of the coconut water. And I’ve been making variations on this recipe ever since….
Pineapple Coconut Popsicles
This was a bit of a vague recipe (how large a can of coconut or pineapple chunks?) but I just kind of threw things together and poured them in popsicle molds (and the leftover mix I put into a smoothie – yum!). Both Hubby and I have been enjoying them on the hot sunny days we have been having.
Grain Free Brownies
Although I do not eat chocolate, Hubby does and loves it. So a while back I started testing out some healthier versions for him. This was the winner. The base is black beans, but with all of the chocolaty goodness in there, you would never know. They are definitely better the second day (otherwise Hubby says they taste a bit “eggy”) and Hubby prefers them cold from the fridge.
That’s it! I am going to reorganize my pin boards so that the recipes I have tried have their own boards, which will hopefully make them easier to find. And then I will know what I still have yet to try…..
For the next three weeks, in the interest of improving my health, I am going to be eating meat-free, dairy-free and wheat-free. Anyone know of some great vegan and wheat-less recipes I should try?