Rhubarb Tart.

It’s been a while since I posted something the last time. It’s really busy here with the new baby in the family, because I am still trying to fit all my chores in the day: work, cooking, cleaning, exercising, taking care of kids and many other things. I miss blogging, reading, watching movies and sleeping, so as soon as I have some free time I am trying to do something for myself.

It’s July already and I still can’t believe we are almost in the middle of summer. Because of lack of time, I am trying to make our meals as simple as possible now.

Friend of mine brought me some rhubarb from her garden few weeks ago. We use it a lot back in Ukraine: making drinks, pies, desserts, jams etc. It’s not easy to find it here in US at the grocery store, so I was excited to make something with it.

For me it tastes the best in pies, so I decided to make vegan, gluten free, rhubarb pie. Rhubarb  usually has tart taste, so you need to make it sweet to enjoy it. The recipe asks for maple syrup which works great instead of regular sugar.

Vegan Rhubarb Tart.

IMG_2112

Ingredients:

Crust:

2 cups almond flour or meal

pinch of sea salt

2tbsp maple syrup

1tbsp melted coconut oil

1tsp lemon zest

Filling:

6 cups chopped rhubarb

3tbsp maple syrup ( feel free to add more if it still tastes tart)

1/8 tsp cinammon

Glaze:

3tbsp seedless raspberry jam

zest of 1 lemon

1tbsp lemon juice

 

Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a tart pan with coconut oil.

Ina large bowl, combine almond flour and sea salt. In separate bowl, whisk together maple syrup, coconut oil and lemon zest. Pour wet ingredients into dry and fold to combine. Transfer dough to tart tin and press to form a crust. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let it cool on wire rack.

Line baking sheet with parchment paper. In large bowl, toss rhubarb with maple syrup and cinnamon. Spread evenly on baking sheet and roast for 15min. Remove from the oven and set aside.

IMG_2067

Use a slotted spatula to transfer roasted rhubarb to tart shell. Pour any remaining rhubarb juices into a small skillet. Add jam, lemon zest and lemon juice to a skillet and whisk over medium-low heat until liquid. Spoon glaze evenly over rhubarb and allow to set until ready to serve.

IMG_2121

Tastes the best the next day.

Enjoy!!!!

Advertisements

Double Chocolate Cake.

This is the best chocolate vegan cake recipe that I tried so far. It’s always hard to make something to taste as good as the regular desserts and at the same time trying to use as many healthy ingredients as possible.

I wouldn’t call this cake completely healthy and guilt free but I was trying to make it as natural and delicious as possible.

The recipe asked for whole wheat pastry flour, which I don’t usually keep in my house, so I went to get it for  my cake. Don’t use the regular whole wheat flour, otherwise it will make your cake dense and heavy.

For the sugar I used raw cane sugar. Don’t replace it with coconut sugar, becuase it will dry out and crack the top of the cake.

Double Chocolate Cake. Vegan.

IMG_0797

Ingredients:

2 cups plant based milk ( almond, soy etc)

2tbsp apple cider vinegar

3/4 cup natural cane sugar

2/3 cup melted coconut oil

2tbsp pure vanilla extract

3 cups whole wheat pastry flour

2/3 cup cocoa powder

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp sea salt

Chocolate Avocado Frosting:

2 large ripe avocados

5 tbsp cocoa powder

5 tbsp maple syrup

2tsp pure vanilla extract.

IMG_0840

Make the frosting.

In a food processor, process the avocado until smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients and process again until smooth. Transfer to the fridge until ready to use. Believe it or not, but nobody ever guesses what is this frosting made of.

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly grease 8-inch cake pan and line the base with the parchment paper. In a medium bowl, stir together the milk and vinegar. This combination makes vegan buttermilk. Add sugar, oil and vanilla. Whisk to combine.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.

Pour the milk mixture over the flour mixture and beat with the mixer until smooth. Divide the batter between two cake pans.

Bake the cakes for 30-35 minutes. The cake is ready when it slowly springs back when touches and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Place pans on a cooling rack to cool for 20-25 min.

Once the cakes are completely cool, spread a layer of frosting on top. Place the second layer on top and gently push down to adhere. Continue frosting the rest of the cake. I garnished my cake with dried strawberries, but you can use shaved chocolate or other fruits. Next time I will try to put some from strawberries between layers, to make it taste more fresh.

Enjoy!!!!!

IMG_0824

Candied pecans. Vegan.

There is an easy recipe I have been making a lot recently and I would like to share it with you today.

When the holiday season and cold weather comes the best thing is to stay at home with your family, drink hot cocoa, eat cookies etc.

I made this crunchy snack a month ago for the first time and now my daughter is asking to make ” yummy nuts” every other day.

Of course I am not making them too often but we always have them now for the family movie nights.

You can even make them and put in the glass jar, as a piece of a holiday present for your friend or a family member.

It takes very little time to make and makes everybody happy.

Vegan, gluten free recipe.

Candied pecans.

IMG_0042

Ingredients:

½ cup coconut sugar

2 cups pecans, or any other type of nuts (slivered almonds, walnut halves etc.)

pinch kosher salt

1 tsp. cinnamon

Line a cooling rack with a parchment paper and set aside.

Heat coconut sugar with a little water, spices in heavy medium skillet over medium heat. Stir occasionally with wooden spoon. After several minutes, the sugar will begin to look sticky. Continue to stir. After several more minutes, the sugar will begin to melt. Continue to stir gently. When sugar is completely melted, add nuts.

Empty contents of skillet into thin layer onto prepared rack. Heat the oven to 250F and put the nuts in the oven for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Let cool and break into pieces. Store in cookie tin or glass jar with tightly fitting lid.

Enjoy.

IMG_0044

 

Lemon Strawberry Cake. Gluten Free.

Because I had a lot of strawberries left after me and Sophie picked them the other day, I was making different desserts for my family to enjoy.

One day I decided to make a cake. I planned to make it healthy and delicious. The perfect version would be vegan, but because I picked the almond flour for baking, I needed to use the eggs in the recipe. I still can’t find the substitute for eggs when cooking with almond flour. When cooking with almond flour you need a lot of eggs, otherwise, you cake will be dry.

So I decided to make lemon almond cake with fresh strawberries and strawberry frosting.

By the way, lemon and strawberries work great together and make the delicious combination in this cake.

My only advice is to let it stay in the fridge for at least 4 hour, before serving. The longer it stays, the better it tastes.

Lemon Strawberry Cake. Gluten Free.

IMG_8558

 

Ingredients:

3 lemons, weighing approximately 375g

5 eggs

1 heaped teaspoon of baking powder

½ teaspoon of baking soda

250g of ground almonds

250g of coconut sugar

Frosting:

1 cup soaked raw cashews

1/2 cup fresh strawberries

4 tablespoons maple syrup

4 tablespoons almond milk

 

Put the lemons in a saucepan with cold water and bring to the boil before reducing the heat and simmering for 2 hours, or until soft. Drain the water and set aside to cool. When cool, cut the lemons in half and remove any large seeds.

Grease a springform pan and preheat the oven to 350F.

Pulp the lemon in a food processor before adding the eggs, baking powder, baking soda, almonds and sugar and processing until you have a smooth batter.

Pour the batter into the springform pan and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Check after 40 minutes to ensure the top is not cooking too much, if so simply cover with foil.

Let the cake cool in the tin before removing.

Put all the frosting ingredients in the high-power blender and blend until smooth.

To decorate the cake smooth over a crumb coating and refrigerate until set before smoothing over another layer of the frosting.

IMG_8520

 

Gluten Free Carrot Cake with Citrus Cashew Cream.

I am not a big fan of baking cakes, although I love eating them.

As soon as I turned enough years to be able to cook, I always wanted to learn how to make the most delicious, beautiful cakes. I remember my 15th Birthday, how I got ready for the party and I really wanted to have a special homemade cake for my party. My mom is not good at making cake, so our neighbor helped me to make the best vanilla, apricot cake. I was the happiest 15years old girl at that time.

Back to reality, I still struggle in the kitchen when it comes to bake a cake. Sometimes it turns perfect, sometimes I just want to cry, because of spending few hours in the kitchen and ending up with the disaster which supposed to be called a cake.

Yesterday, I just decided to try to make a cake again. I didn’t expect it to be perfect, but at least baked well inside.

Recipe that I used is very easy and IT WORKED!!!!!

Gluten, dairy, refined sugars free carrot cake.

I still used the eggs, but next time I will try to replace them with flaxseeds.

Gluten Free Carrot Cake with Citrus Cashew Cream.

IMG_4248

Ingredients:

1,5 cup gluten-free oat flour
1 cup almond meal or almond flour
1/2 cup coconut sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon all-spice
1 1/2 cups finely grated carrots
4 eggs, whisked
2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
6 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup unrefined coconut oil, melted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

chopped walnuts or pecans for decorating

IMG_4265

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 350*F and thoroughly grease and flour 2, 8-inch cake pan. Knock out excess flour. In a large mixing bowl stir your dry ingredients together until well combined. Lightly pat the grated carrots with a paper towel. In another mixing bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, applesauce, maple syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla until thoroughly combined. Whisk in the grated carrot. Pour the wet mixture into the dry and stir together with a large wooden spoon until just combined. Avoid over-stirring. Pour evenly into the cake pans and bake for 33-38 minutes. Test with a toothpick for doneness. Let cool for 15-20 minutes, then carefully turn out onto a cooling rack and let fully cool before frosting. Cut in the middle to make 2 layers. Frost each layer, then sprinkle with nuts if desired.

IMG_4245

Cashew Cream:

2 cups raw (unsalted) cashews
2 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest ( you can use orange too)
1/3  cup unsweetened almond milk
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1,5 teaspoons vanilla extract
pinch of salt

Soak the cashews covered in water in a bowl overnight or for at least 4 hours.  Or, cover cashews with water in a pot and bring to a boil.  Turn the heat off, cover the pot and let sit for 1 hour.  Drain and rinse the cashews with cold water. Measure out 2 cups of the soaked cashews.  There will be extra, as they expand when soaked. Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender, starting with 1/3 cup milk. Blend until smooth, adding more milk until desired consistency is reached.  Scrape the sides of the blender as needed.

IMG_4280

IMG_4305

Raw Chocolate Almond Bars.

Raw Chocolate Dessert Again. It tastes as good as it looks.

IMG_4166

I use one special ingredient in the recipe this time: Coconut Manna.

IMG_4120

It is a whole-food product, meaning it is 100% coconut with very little processing. The difference between this and coconut oil is that coconut oil is put through a cold expresser process to get the oil out. Both are fresh-harvest coconut

It’s that are dried, but the Manna is ground into a very fine powder right after drying.  Then, they add some of their coconut oil.  Manna is lower in calories than coconut oil.  Nutiva Organic Coconut Manna contains 12% fiber and 9% protein, whereas coconut oil contains none.

You need to soften the product and mix thoroughly to truly appreciate the full spectrum of this amazing product.  It must be softened by achieving a temperature above 76 degrees and then mixed thoroughly. If you live in a warm climate, you won’t have to worry about softening.  To soften:

Run tap water to the very hottest setting, then fill a bowl and put the Manna container in the bowl for 10-15 minutes.  You may need to replace the water several times to get the butter real soft. Boil water in a tea kettle and pour into a large bowl, placing the mana jar in the center.  Allow it to soften.If you have a food dehydrator, open the lid of the Manna container and put it in the dehydrator on 105 degrees.   After 15 minutes, stir the Manna, and then put back in for another 15 minutes, then mix well before serving.

You can find it at any health food store, Amazon.com, Whole Foods. By the way, Whole Foods has it on sale most of the times.

Raw Chocolate Almond Bars.

IMG_4156

Ingredients:

1 cup raw almonds
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup cacao powder
1 cup dates
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
pinch sea salt

1. Put all ingredients in the blender and mix them together. Make the first layer of the bars, pressing your almond, chocolate dough into the form. Put in refrigerator while making toping. The bottom layer should be set up (but not completely hard) before adding the next layer.

IMG_4124

Coconut Layer

2 cups of dried, unsweetened, raw coconut

2/3 cup coconut butter, or Coconut Manna

3 tablespoons raw maple syrup (or liquid sweetener of choice)

1. Place coconut in medium bowl.

2. Whisk coconut butter or manna, and agave. Pour over coconut and mix well.

3. Pat over first layer, top with chopped almonds and chocolate sauce( I mixed 1 tablespoon of coconut oil, with 1 tablespoon of cocoa and 1 teaspoon of maple syrup)

IMG_4136

4. Refrigerate to set.

IMG_4150

Enjoy!!!!

IMG_4155

Ice Cream Lovers

IMG_2842
The Start Of Every New Year Brings You Closer And Closer To Your Dreams And Aspirations. May This Be The Breakthrough Year That Your Dreams Finally Become A Reality. Wishing My Readers A Happy New Year 2014!

I hope everyone had a great time on holidays!!!!

I know it’s winter now, it’s cold and snowing today, that keeps us inside again.

This winter lets us enjoy snow a lot recently, but it won’t change our habit to eat icy treats in winter.

My daughter’s favorite dessert is ice cream. I remember when she tried it for the first time. She just sucked into it, and didn’t let it go. That’s funny, but she won’t eat any kind of ice-cream, it should be vanilla, chocolate or strawberry, no sprinkles, or toppings. Homemade one is the best one of course, especially if you put some peanut butter in it.

IMG_2425

This healthy homemade ice cream needs only a few ingredients and a blender. The main ingredient BANANAS. Sometimes I forget to freeze them, so it’s better to do it ahead. Freeze 5-8 bananas in case you want ice cream the other day again.

You can be creative with this recipe too, because when you add some ingredients to bananas, the ice-cream doesn’t taste like bananas anymore( strawberries, mangoes, cocoa, cherries, peanut butter, coconut flakes, kiwi, raspberries, blueberries, any kind of nuts).

The best part: You don’t need to use any sugar, because it’s sweet already!!!!

Healthy Homemade Ice Cream.

4 large very ripe bananas

Optional add-ins:
1/2 cup frozen cherries

or any fruit
Peel bananas and slice into 1/2 inch pieces. Freeze for 1-2 hours.

Place the banana slices in a food processor. Puree banana slices, scraping down the bowl as needed, until the mixture is creamy and smooth. Mix in any of the optional add-ins desired and puree. Serve immediately for soft-serve ice cream or place in the freezer for a few hours for a harder ice cream.

Enjoy this super delicious, healthy, sugar free dessert.

IMG_2378

IMG_2407