Thursday, May 7, 2015

Vegan, Gluten-Free Banana Coconut Cream Pancakes


In honor of my 1 year blog-versary, I decided to make my hands-down favorite brunch (food) to celebrate! These pancakes are super duper easy to make (they take 15 minutes!) and yield 10 pancakes per batch so they're perfect for a cute brunch party (or you could totally just eat all of them in one sitting. No judgements here)!

Side note: You can totally make these pancakes into crepes! Just increase the almond milk to 2.5 cups!

Some ingredients you'll need are:
- 1 cup raw buckwheat groats, ground into a fine flour
- 1/2 cup brown rice flour
- 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1.5 cups + 3 tablespoons almond milk (those 3 tablespoons make all the difference!)
- 1 heaping cup diced ripe bananas
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup (or agave nectar)
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Coconut Whipped Cream (available at Whole Foods and Sprouts)
- chopped fresh strawberries, for garnish

Onto the actual pancake making...
1. Preheat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. A drop of water should sizzle when the skillet is ready!
2. In a blender, blend the buckwheat groats on high speed until it turns into a fine flour. Place into a large bowl. Now whisk in the rest of the dry ingredients (rice flour, arrowroot, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon).
3. Dice the banana until it's the size of peas or a bit larger. Fold the diced banana into the batter.
4. Lightly grease skillet (I sprayed coconut oil on it). Scoop a heaping 1/4 cup of batter onto the preheated skillet and quickly spread the batter out into a circle. Cook until some bubbles appear and the edge looks deeper in color and more firm. Flip and cook for another 3-ish minutes until golden. Adjust heat as needed. Repeat for other pancakes. 
5. Stack and serve with Coconut Whipped Cream and fresh chopped strawberries!

I hope you find these pancakes as amazing and delicious as I do!
xoxo, J

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Baked Fruit: 3 Ways

Baked fruit 3 ways
Guys, I think it's pie season. Every magazine cover I look at seems to have a pie (or two or three) on it. This proves a few things: 1. I apparently only read food magazines. 2. It's pie season. I've already started making my list of possible pies I'll be baking for Thanksgiving this year (I'm way early, I know). But man cannot live on pie alone. A great and lighter alternative is baked fruit. You still get to enjoy all the delicious fruit flavor without quite so much butter, sugar and crust. Here are a few of my favorites.
Baked peach parfait
Baked Peach Parfait, makes 4 servings.
Needed: 2 peaches, 1/2 cup oats, 1/8 cup olive oil, 1/8 cup maple syrup or honey, a few pinches of cinnamon, and a handful of chopped pecans.

In a small bowl, combine the oats, oil, sweetener, cinnamon and pecans. Stir, making sure every oat is coated in oil and sweetener. Slice peaches in half and remove pits. Fill with oat filling and bake at 400 F for 15-18 minutes, until softened and the skin begins to pull away from the fruit. Garnish with whipped cream.
Baked grapefruit
Baked Grapefruit, makes 4 servings. This is great for breakfast or a light dessert!
Needed: 2 grapefruits and a conservative handful of brown sugar.

Slice grapefruits in half and remove as many seeds as you can. Begin to segment the grapefruit—this will allow the sugar to soak in even more. Sprinkle with sugar and bake at 400 F for 16-18 minutes.
Baked apples
Baked Apples (or "Opposite Apple Pie" if you're feeling clever, and I AM), makes 4 servings.
Needed: 2 apples (I like Granny Smith), 1/4 cup brown sugar, a few pinches of cinnamon and 1/2 sheet of puff pastry.

Core apples and slice in half. Coat the inside with brown sugar. Slice up the puff pastry into thin strips and create a lattice design over the apples. Sprinkle with a little more sugar and cinnamon. Bake at 400 F for 16-18 minutes until puff pastry is golden brown, and apple has softened. Serve with vanilla ice cream!
Baked fruit
As you can see these are super easy to make but also really cute and delicious. Impress your next dinner party guests with this sweet pie alternative. Happy baking!
xoxo, Joanna

Monday, May 26, 2014

Blackberry Avocado Smoothie

I know, I know, green smoothies are all the rage and I admittedly partake in the trend, almost daily.  But sometimes, it's good to shake things up.  I had a bunch of blackberries that I had to use immediately and I've read that people use avocados in lieu of bananas in smoothies (I like a slight banana taste, so used half of both).  Enter: the Avocado Blackberry Bliss.  (I named it myself!)  Would you try this smoothie combo?
- half an avocado
- handful of blackberries (fresh or frozen)
- handful of strawberries (fresh or frozen)
- 1 t. chia seeds
- 1/2 c. almond milk
- half a banana (optional)- 1/2 c. kale or spinach (optional)


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Berries in Chocolate Bowls

Easy homemade candy ideas for valentines day
I guess this kind of falls under easy homemade candy. But I hesitate to say that because, well, it's really easy.  I recently got these classic chocolate bowl molds and have been excited to use them ever since.

Tips for using chocolate molds
Fill the molds 1/3 full with melted chocolate (I used dark chocolate). Don't over fill them or you'll have a lot of excess chocolate to shave off later, like I did. Oops. Give the mold a few taps on the counter and then press the top of the mold down onto the chocolate. Refrigerate overnight. Remove the chocolate bowls the next day.

Fill the bowls with a little jam (the jam adds sweetness as well as helps to hold the berries in place), then berries and then top with a little fresh whipped cream.
Chocolate berry bowls for valentines dayEasy to make valentine desserts
I think these would be adorable to serve after a special homemade dinner. Happy candy making! 

xoxo, Joanna

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Vegan Ice Cream

Non dairy ice cream

I've been on a current ice cream obsession (and it's getting out of hand). But, I always find myself gravitating towards making my own vegan ice cream. It's super easy and inexpensive, not to mention, healthy and guilt-free!

Raw ice cream

The basic recipe calls for frozen, blended bananas. Once blended they become creamy and delicious like soft serve ice cream. Depending on what you add in to flavor these you could create raw or vegan versions very easily. I decided to try out a few different variations.
Chocolate vegan ice cream

Chocolate Non Dairy Ice Cream, makes one serving.
Needed: 2-3 bananas, 1/4 cup water, 1 tablespoon cocoa powder (dutch processed preferred) and 2 tablespoons brown sugar.

Peel and chop up bananas and freeze in a zip lock bag overnight. Then blend in a food processor or blender with the water until creamy. You may need to let the bananas soften before blending. Then add in the cocoa and sugar and blend until combined. I topped mine with a few bits of toffee.
Vegan ice cream recipe

Banana Nut Non Dairy Ice Cream, makes one serving.
Needed: 2-3 bananas, 1/4 cup water, 1-2 tablespoons honey and 1/4 cup chopped walnuts.

Peel and chop up bananas and freeze in a zip lock bag overnight. Then blend in a food processor or blender with the water until creamy. You may need to let the bananas soften before blending. Stir in the honey and nuts.
Vanilla raw ice cream

Vanilla Non Dairy Ice Cream, makes one serving.
Needed: 2-3 bananas, 1/4 cup water, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 2-3 tablespoons sugar.

Peel and chop up bananas and freeze in a zip lock bag overnight. Then blend in a food processor or blender with the water until creamy. You may need to let the bananas soften before blending. Stir in the vanilla extract and sugar. I topped mine with some chocolate syrup.
Vegan ice cream

Have fun making up your own flavors!


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Giant Single-Serving Chocolate Chip Cookie

Now that I'm back from my loonnngg break, I decided to come back with a delicious cookie recipe to make up for the time! I haven't been getting much sleep these past few weeks, which accounts for my late night cookie cravings. Clearly, one small cookie wasn't enough, so I made this giant single serving chocolate chip cookie that can actually make 3 smaller cookies! (Also delicious with peanut butter chips)

2 tablespoons butter - very soft, almost melted
2 tablespoons brown cane sugar
2 tablespoons whisked egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 tablespoons whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chocolate chips

In a smaller bowl, mix together the butter and sugar with a wooden spoon. Measure in the egg and vanilla. Mix, mix, mix. Then add the flour, baking soda and salt and combine. Add the chocolate chips. Form a huge ball and place it on a baking sheet. Flatten it a bit and sprinkle salt on top. Bake it for 12 minutes on 190C. Enjoy!


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

White Chocolate and Nutella Truffles

Nutella and white chocolate truffles
I love truffles all year round but there is something kind of suggesting that they're perfect for the winter-into-spring transition. It's post-Valentine's day, and (many) thanks to my dad, I ended up with not one, but two, boxes of truffles this year. While it's safe to say that those are all gone by now, I am still craving truffles so I made some more! 

Homemade Nutella truffles

White Chocolate and Nutella Truffles, makes 15-18
7 ounces dark chocolate
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup Nutella
2 cups white chocolate chips
1 tablespoon oil (I used vegetable)
chocolate sprinkles (optional) 

In a double boiler (or a glass bowl set over simmering water) melt together the first four ingredients. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. If you leave the mixture in the refrigerator for longer than 2 hours, it will likely become too firm to work with. So just allow it to soften at room temperature until you can.
How to make truffles
Use a melon baller or spoon to form small balls. I powder my hands and spoon with cocoa, so the mixture is easier to work with and doesn't stick to everything. Once you have all the truffles formed, place in the freezer for 5-10 minutes. 

In the mean time, melt the white chocolate and oil in a microwave safe bowl. I will microwave on high for 30 seconds, then stir, and repeat until the chocolate is melted. Dip each truffle in the melted chocolate to coat it, then place on a sheet of wax paper.
Nutella truffles

Add the chocolate sprinkles as you work, before the white chocolate has time to set. I usually drizzle on just a little more chocolate to the tops at the end, just to be fancy. Let these set over night or pop in them in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Enjoy!