Thick Chocolate Chip Cookies (GF, Refined Sugar Free, Vegan)

Thick Chocolate Chip Cookies (GF, Refined Sugar Free, Vegan)

While I was living in the USA, I had a hard time replacing all sugars with brown rice syrup in my baking recipes. The issue wasn’t with getting the consistency right, but it was with the taste of the brown rice syrup. It wasn’t giving my food the right flavor, so I always opted for maple syrup even if the recipe wasn’t meant to have that “maple” flavor.

When I moved to Australia, my partner told me about a brown rice syrup brand that he trusted and tried to get me to use it. I rejected it for months because I was so afraid of my baked goodies tasting gross (although he promised he’d eat it all, but where’s the fun for me). Well, today I decided to go for it and was actually surprised at how good these turned out. Maybe brown rice syrup in Australia is made differently than the one in the USA? Perhaps. Maybe I was just being a bitch before and it was always good? Perhaps, too. Nonetheless, I’m happy with this stuff and will happily use it instead of maple syrup if it means I get to treat myself without worrying about the glycemic index! 


Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of gluten free flour (I used a chickpea and rice flour blend)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 1/4 cup of almond milk
  • 1/4 cup of coconut oil, melted
  • 3/4 cup of brown rice syrup
  • 2 cups of chocolate chips (Enjoy Life has a good refined sugar free and vegan package, or Well Naturally Sugar Free Dark Chocolate can be broken into pieces)

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 325°F/162°C and line a baking pan with baking paper
  • In a medium sized bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
  • In a large bowl, mix the banana, brown rice syrup, almond milk, and coconut oil. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix well until all dry ingredients have broken up.
  • Fold in chocolate chips
  • Make spoonfuls of about 1.5 tbsp and place on the baking tray. Bake for 12-15 minutes until browned.
Muesli Granola (refined sugar free)

Muesli Granola (refined sugar free)

About 1 year ago, my partner and I decided that we were going to avoid refined and added sugar at all costs. Sometimes we need that one vegan donut from the cafe, but we are fully aware that it is unhealthy and know that it is just a monthly treat. 

Now that we’ve stopped buying products that contain sugar, we have asked ourselves this question over and over again: Why is it so hard to find a cereal or granola that does not contain added sugar? Last night, we spent a lot of time in the health food aisle at our local grocery store reading all of the ingredient labels on the “healthy” cereals. We were so shocked, almost angry, that all contained sugar as the second or third ingredient. 

We’ve made granola before, but we were hoping we could find a good company that can make one that we trust. Unfortunately, the search was unsuccessful. I honestly believe it should be illegal for companies to add the labels “healthy” or ” natural” to their packaging if sugar is in the ingredients list. Its a damaging lie for innocent people that believe they are being healthy, when they are actually destroying their gut and health.

Alright, rant over. We can sit for hours and talk about the truths of the sugar industry and how we can change our lives by making the simple decision to eliminate added sugars. For now, make this simple and delicious granola to keep in your pantry for a snack or a nutritious breakfast. 

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of raw oats
  • 2 cups of raw cashews
  • 1 cup of raw almonds
  • 1 cup of pepitas 
  • 1/2 cup of chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup of sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup of coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup of brown rice syrup
  • 4 tbsp cinnamon
  • (Optional) 1/2 cup goji berries

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 200 °C (390°F).
  2. In a large bowl, mix together all the ingredients (except the goji berries). 
  3. Pour mixture onto a non stick pan, or a pan lined with baking paper. Bake for 20 minutes, stirring mixture every 5 minutes to ensure an even cook.
  4. Let it cool overnight. Add the goji berries ans store in a jar and use as cereal, granola, or muesli.
The Discovery

The Discovery

We are made up of three different entities. The mind, the body, and the soul. To think that we are just one thing is to strip yourself of the true essence of what life is all about. I don’t think I can tell you what life is all about it, but I know it is something that we discover within ourselves. And this powerful discovery occurs when our mind, body, and soul meet each other in a peaceful alignment. When we are ready, the universe opens a door that each of the three did not know existed and introduces them all to each other in a vibrant room of love. 

Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen for everyone. For some, it comes naturally. They are born enlightened. How incredible it must be to feel absolutely aligned your entire life. For me, it came after struggles and confusion I felt deep inside between my 3 entities. My mind did not love my body, my soul could not be heard, and my body did not feel safe. To say I woke up one day and felt the pure balance would be unfair. But during these struggling times, I knew it wasn’t right to feel to feel the way I did. I felt so strongly that there was a better way of life, a more powerful feeling of self-love that I had yet to experience. 

When I stopped cluttering my life with parties, drinking, shopping, and obbsessing over my image, I could feel the “stones” forming. It didn’t happen overnight but I felt a shift in my consciousness everyday. I became more aware of how every moment in the day impacted me and how I could control my life. There were things that occurred that were out of my control, but I learned to control how I let them shape me. I discovered the true meaning of “having a choice”. I chose when I wanted to be hurt and when I wanted to grow. I started to embrace my failures and my flaws, and made the conscious decision to create opportunities for myself through these new experiences. 

Fast forward 4 years and you’ll meet me where I am today. Not in perfect condition, but surrounded by so much self-love and gratitude for the life I’ve created and chosen. I can’t wait to continue sharing how I got here.

Mini Spinach, Tomato, & Chive “Quiches”

Mini Spinach, Tomato, & Chive “Quiches”

I have been so busy since moving to Sydney that I haven’t given myself the free time to get back into sharing my recipes. I decided to kick start my blogging in Australia with a recipe I have been meaning to test: vegan quiche!

Quiches are one of those unique dishes that you can serve for just about any meal. They work in the breakfast & brunch menu, dinner entrées or even as appetizers for a party!

Mini Spinach, Tomato, & Chive “Quiches”

Makes 14 -16 quiches

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups of chickpea flour 
  • 3 cups of water
  • 3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped finely
  • 1/2 cup chopped chives (green onions)
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, chopped into quarter slices
  • 1 cup of raw spinach, chopped

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F and grease a standard muffin pan
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the chickpea flour, water, oil, cumin, salt and pepper.
  3. Add the garlic, chives, and spinach and mix well.
  4. Pour the mixture evenly into each muffin tin.
  5. Bake for 16 to 20 minutes, until the tops are golden brown. If you stick a fork into one quiche, it should return dry. If it is still wet, then continue to cook until fully cooked.
  6. Serve with hot sauce or your favorite salsa!

    Vegan Brownies (No Flour, No Refined Sugar)

    Vegan Brownies (No Flour, No Refined Sugar)

    Serves 12

    Ingredients:

    • 1 can of black beans, no salt
    • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
    • 4 pitted dates, soaked in hot water for 10 min
    • 1/3 cup of raw cashews
    • 2 flax eggs (2 tbsp of ground flax seed whisked with 5  tbsp of water)
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 cup of raw cacao powder
    • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
    • 1/4 cup coconut oil, liquid
    • 1/8 tsp sea salt
    • 1/4 cup of vegan chocolate chips
    • 2 tbsp shredded coconut, unsweetened.

    Instruction:

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
    2. In a blender, add all ingredients except the chocolate chips and shredded coconut. Blend until smooth.
    3. Pour into a brownie pan lined with parchment paper. Bake for 30 minutes.
    4. Let it cool for 10 minutes before devouring!

    Vegan Strawberry Beetroot Cupcakes

    Vegan Strawberry Beetroot Cupcakes

    We picked up some perfect beetroot from the farmer’s market this week, and I was getting bored of just using them in my salads. My goal was to make some delicious red velvet cupcakes using the natural color of the beetroot.

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    These cupcakes were hot pink before I put them in the oven. When the timer went off, all I could think about was how pretty these were going to turn out. Therefore you can imagine my shock when I saw they lost all the color from the beetroot! What? That was not what I expected, at all.

    image

    I found out the baking powder turns the beetroot to a more natural brown color when baking. Fun new fact! Anyway, these still came out delicious and the beetroot purée added to the fluffiness of each little cake.

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    Serves: 10-12 cupcakes

    Ingredients

    1 cup unsweetened coconut/almond milk

    1 tsp white vinegar

    1/3 cup maple syrup, or brown rice syrup

    1/4 cup melted coconut oil

    1/4 cup beetroot, roasted* & puréed

    2 tsp pure vanilla extract

    1 1/2 cups flour

    ¾ tsp baking soda

    ½ tsp baking powder

    1/4 tsp salt

    1/2 cup chopped, fresh strawberries

    Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 350°F and use a non stick or lightly greased muffin pan.
    2. In a large bowl, whisk together the milk and vinegar. Set this aside for a few minutes.
    3. Add the maple syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla extract to the milk and beat until foamy. Add beet purée and beat again.
    4. In a separate bowl mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Slowly add this to the wet mixture while beating it all together. Continue until no large lumps remain, then fold in strawberries.
    5. Carefully scoop batter into the cupcake holders, filling each holder about 3/4 way full. Bake for about 29-31 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
    6. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then take them out to cool completely.
    7. Frost them using the crème from my Vegan Strawberry Crème Dark Chocolate Bites. After making the crème, put it in an airtight container in the fridge overnight to let it become more solid and firm. Frost the cupcakes once they are cool. If using this frosting, store the cupcakes in the fridge.

     

    *Notes:

    Roasting the beetroot for the purée: Using 1 beetroot, cut the stems. Preheat the oven to 425°F Scrub the beetroot under warm water. Lightly wrap the whole beetroot in aluminum foil and bake for 60 minutes. Take it out and let it cool for a few minutes. Using a paper towel, or your hands, rub the outside of the beetroot. The outside peel should come off very easily, revealing the dark red inside. Slice and put into a food processor or blender. Add 1 lemon, squeezed. Purée!

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    Vegan Strawberry Crème Dark Chocolate Bites

    Vegan Strawberry Crème Dark Chocolate Bites

    Dark Chocolate Truffles with Strawberry Creme

    Makes about 14 pieces

    Ingredients:

    For the chocolate coating

    • 1 cup coconut oil, melted
    • 1/2 cup raw cacao powder
    • 1/4 cup maple syrup
    • 1/8 tsp sea salt

    For the creme filling

    • 1/2 cup cashew butter (buy it made, or make your own by blending 1 cup of raw cashews with 1 tbsp of coconut oil until creamy-ish)
    • 2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced in half)
    • 1/2 cup coconut oil
    • 1/4 tsp sea salt
    • 2 tbsp maple syrup
    • 1/2 lemon, squeezed (about 1 tbsp)
    • 3/4 tsp pure vanilla extract

     

    Instructions

    1. Add all the ingredients for the creme filling in a food processor and process until smooth and creamy. Put this into the freezer for about 10 minutes
    2. In a bowl, add the ingredients for the chocolate coating until well combined
    3. Using an ice cube tray, spoon a tablespoon of chocolate topping into each cube. Place in the freezer for about 10 minutes to allow it to harden a bit
    4. Add a tablespoon of the creme filling on top of the bottom chocolate layer. If it has been chilled long enough, it should sit on top of the chocolate in a ball shape and not spread. That is good!
    5. Add another tablespoon of chocolate topping on top of the creme filling. This part of the chocolate should be liquidy so that it forms around the edges and takes up any remaining space inside each cube. I recommend heating the bowl a bit to make sure the chocolate is in a liquid state before covering the strawberry creme.
    6. Put in the freezer for approximately 30 minutes.
    7. Remove and let it sit for a minute  before removing the chocolates from ice cube tray.
    8. Eat them cold!
    9. Store these in freezer!