Saturday, August 31, 2013

Homemade Cold Pressed Coffee

If you've read my earlier posts, then you know I absolutely love cold-pressed coffee.  This is a super easy way to make your own strong, non-bitter concentrated cold brew coffee.

Much cheaper than buying the expensive but delicious store-bought versions, this will keep sealed in the fridge for up to two weeks.  Dilute with water or your favorite nondairy or dairy beverage.  I'd like to recommend my absolute fave summer drink: unsweetened vanilla coconut milk mixed with cold-pressed coffee.  I like to do about 1/4 cup cold brew with 1 to 1-1/2 cups of the nondairy milk or partial milk-partial water blend.


Steps to your very own cold brew coffee:
1.  Buy some whole beans, such as the delicious Smooth Operator roast by Revolution Roasters sold at Cafe Ipe next to Surfy Surfy in Leucadia.  You can buy ground beans, but if you buy whole, they will keep longer (though it all depends if you have a processor or grinder or not).

2.  Place the beans in a grinder, grind until coarsely ground.

not too fine!

 2.  Pour cold filtered water over the coffee grounds in a glass jar or French Press.  The ratio is about 2/3 cup coffee grounds with 3 cups water.

4.  Stir the water with the coffee, mixing thoroughly with a chopstick or other utensil.  Cover and let sit 8-12 hours.

4.  Use the French Press lid/strainer and plunge down.  Or, if you don't have a French press, use a fine strainer.  Place the liquid in a large glass jar and seal, chilling in the fridge.  

delicious strong home brewed cold press

currently there is a HUGE jar chilling in my fridge...those early morning workdays are much better lately ;)

Sunday, August 25, 2013

"Butter" Cookies...a healthy version of a decadent cookie

Tea party for two?  Yes, please!

Make any imprint your heart desires

A gluten-free tea party for two: the best kind of morning

This cookie literally melts in your mouth.  The texture is that like of a peanut butter cookie, while the taste is reminiscent of a buttery sugar cookie, only healthier (thank gosh!) It doesn't have a strong flavor, just a mild vanilla-y maple sweetness, enhanced by the natural sweetness of coconut flour and unsweetened coconut milk.

Coconut "Butter" Cookies


1-1/2 cups coconut flour
1-1/2 TBSP garbanzo bean flour (any GF flour will do)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1-1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1/3 cup agave syrup or maple syrup or honey**
1/3 cup melted coconut oil
1/2 cup plain coconut yogurt
3 eggs or egg equivalents

vanilla my twin brought back from her trip to Seychelles for work
yummy discovery at Trader Joe's.  I went a little light on the syrup, add more for more sweetness

Mix wet into dry, adding a little additional coconut milk or water if necessary


1.  Stir together flours, and add in all wet ingredients.  Mix well.
2.  Scoop out into little balls, flatten into discs and make an imprint of your choice.  I used the tines of a fork to criss-cross the top of the cookie, and a cookie cutter on a few others.
3.  Bake at 350 degrees for 8-9 minutes.

**I used maple-flavored agave syrup as sweetener: honey or regular agave or maple will do.  I used a scant 1/3 cup.

Bake only 8-10 minutes; they will remain soft and retain that melt-in-your-mouthness
Take a tray to your lawn with these healthy cookies and a spot of tea. Magical!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Ice Cream & Iced Tea: End-of-Summer Goodness

how cool is that ice cube??

I'm including my iced tea in my post solely because of the cool accidental diagonal ice cube that takes up a good portion of the bottom of my glass.  Earlier in the day I was drinking iced water, then shoved the alomst-empty glass into the freezer at an angle to stay cold (diagonal was the only way it would fit, nestled between random frozen treats and smoothie fruit).  I made a decaf irish breakfast cup of tea that I had put in the fridge earlier, and poured it over my awesome accidental ice cube.  Sipping it, I decided to procrastinate on my afternoon run and instead make one of my new obsessions, ice cream to really celebrate the summer.

Let me clarify.  By ice cream, I mean soft serve, and by soft serve, I mean banana soft serve.  The original banana soft serve I made was cacao espresso, but was too liquid-y, so I had to freeze, resulting in a less-than-ideal texture.  While still yummy once slightly softened, it was no soft serve, so I tried again today, resulting in the creamy deliciousness that was this delicate foamy banana soft serve.  Strong with vanilla, the banana flavor was subtle yet sweet, and it tasted absolutely decadent.  I could probably live off of this treat.

This recipe can be made simply with a food processor.  It'll be good though not as thick as traditional soft serve, so chilling it for 10-15 additional minutes may be required.  If you are lucky like me, and own a pink Cuisinart soft serve machine (Thank you, mother-in-law!), then not only will you get the delicious taste and texture of real soft serve, you'll also have the fun experience of twirling the cream around in a cone or bowl, and even adding in any mix-ins of your choosing.

Banana Vanilla Soft Serve


3-4 frozen bananas
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/3 can coconut milk, chilled (leave it in the fridge for several hours until thick/cold)
1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla coconut milk
1/3 cup plain coconut yogurt


Puree above ingredients in a food processor, then add to the soft serve machine and let it run 10-20 minutes or until desired consistency is reached.

If you do not have an ice cream machine, use just the processor, though you may need an additional frozen banana (or two).

twirl the cone or bowl underneath the spout to achieve the "DQ" look

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Cherry Cacao Bites

I have to start this post with a little note that I absolutely hate chocolate covered cherries.  But as it turns out, tart unsweetened plain cherries mixed with cacao and a couple other delicious items like coconut flakes and vanilla makes it not only bearable, but a lovely combination of tart and sweet with that antioxidant boost that we all can use.

Cherry Cacao Bites
yields 15-20 small cookies


20-35 tart unsweetened cherries (with nothing added, Trader Joe's currently has these for not-too-expensive)**
2 tablespoons raw cacao nibs
1-1/2 tablespoons raw cacao powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup reduced fat unsweetened shredded coconut
1 tablespoon coconut flour
1 heaping teaspoon coconut oil, not melted
1/4 cup filtered water
optional: add 2 tablespoons of vegan nondairy rice chocolate chips 

Food process until all ingredients come together like so:

Add water last, adding only as much as needed.  Divide into little balls and chill.

**I used a few prunes and 3 dates and 20 cherries.  For that true cherry cacao combo, use all cherries.  I was just being frugal.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Will keep 5-7 days.

If you have never tried Enjoy Life brand rice chocolate, do so now.  Or maybe not; you'll be addicted and will find ways to sneak those mini morsels into everything.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Buckwheat Millet Granola

Continuing on with my treasure box of endless gluten-free goodies from Bob's Red Mill, I decided to make a giant batch of granola for the week.  Week....or few days, rather.  This is an amazing recipe--it tastes like a cobbler and its sweet, filling and nutritious.

You can even omit the coconut palm sugar or reduce it; it didn't need to be that sweet and is almost desserty but oh-so-amazing.  The best part?  I soaked rather than sprouted my grains so it's a relatively quick granola, easy to digest and not too crunchy but without the annoyance of planning a day or two ahead.

I soaked my grains and seeds for just 2 hours, and even one would probably do--my husband and I went to meet friends for dinner at Tin Leaf in Carlsbad, and when I came back I whipped out the processor, mixed the ingredients, and spread it on baking sheets, got ready for bed, turned the oven off and left them in the oven (mostly because I didn't want our biggest doodle Zeke, whose nose is counter-height, to help himself).  In the morning I sampled a tiny bite, then in a daze served my self a bowl and began snapping photos, pausing between each bite to congratulate myself on the tastiness of my concoction.  Loosely based on a compilation of several different sprouted granolas online, I am quite pleased with my soaked grain granola recipe.

Buckwheat Millet Granola


1 cup buckwheat groats, soaked 1-2 hours
1 cup millet, soaked 1-2 hours
1 cup sunflower seeds, soaked 1-2 hours
1/4 cup sesame seeds, soaked 1-2 hours
3 tablespoons chia seeds
1 cup gluten-free oats
1/2 cup medjool dates, finely chopped
2-3 tablespoons raw local honey
1/4 to 1/3 cup coconut palm sugar
2-1/2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon cinnamon


1. In a medium bowl, pour water over buckwheat and millet, cover and set aside for at least an hour.
2. Using a fine strainer (or a large mesh flour sifter, which is all I had to work with) drain the bowls.
3. Place oats, dates, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and chia seeds in the processor, pulsing several times.  Add in buckwheat and millet, then honey, cinnamon, palm sugar, vanilla and melted coconut oil while mixing.
4. Without over chopping (don't make cookie dough!) spread the mixture on to un-greased cookie sheets, and bake for 25-35 minutes, stirring every so often.  Turn off oven and leave in oven or if at the perfect baked texture, remove from oven to let cool.
5. Store in an airtight container, makes 8 cups or so and will keep for up to 2 weeks.*

*(I think.  May not last that long).  I'm sending out one shipment to my deployed twin sister in Bahrain Navy pilot, yea girl!), so we'll see how well it fares for two-three weeks in a sealed container).

Friday, August 16, 2013

Coconut Goji Macaroons

This dessert are simply little coconut sunflower balls with a tart goji berry accent.  A bit of protein, a lot of taste.  This was a good evening snack and then breakfast with tea; I couldn't resist, I had been thinking about them the whole night!  Recipe yields about a dozen little balls, more if you make them tiny.  They practically melt in your mouth, and if you want a creamier, more luxe version, omit the water and add more coconut oil (not softened) to the processor and maybe a splash of coconut milk.

Coconut Goji Macaroons


1 cup reduced-fat shredded coconut flakes, unsweetened
1 heaping tablespoon sunflower seed butter
1-1/2 teaspoons coconut oil (not melted/softened)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup goji berries
2-3 teaspoons water or more if needed


Food process, roll into little balls and enjoy!  Tart, creamy and tasty.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Raspberry Breakfast Muffin for Two

Are you looking for a delicious satisfying breakfast but generally steer clear of waffles, pancakes and muffins?  If you're craving that carb-y muffin-y type breakfast treat, look no further.  This is a gluten-free, vegan, no-sugar way to satisfy that sweet tooth and pack in some protein in the wee hours.  It'll keep you energized and not make you hungrier that seems to happen way too often when we indulge in sugary fat-laden breakfasts.

This recipe makes two big "muffins" so if you are looking for a treat for you and that special someone, this is it.  Or maybe you have terrible willpower and know if you made a batch of muffins you'd quickly consume half a dozen.  Either way, this is a foolproof way to get a tasty breakfast muffin without the guilt, sugar, and all the rest associated with your typical giant muffin, and will energize you for that jog or pilates sesh later today.

Raspberry Breakfast Muffins

Serves 2


3/4 cup gluten-free flour**
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons ground chia seeds mixed with 6 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons applesauce
3 tablespoons unsweetened vanilla coconut milk or almond milk
1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup fresh raspberries or berry of your choice


Super easy: rub coconut oil on inside of ramekin or desired dish.  I literally use my fingers and dip into the coconut oil jar, but if you share foodstuff with others, maybe use a napkin or paper towel edge. (I don't think my husband even knows where I keep the coconut oil, so we're good).

1.  Prep 2 ramekins with coconut oil (rub it along the inside). You can also use large muffin tins.
2.  In a medium bowl, mix chia seeds with water and let stand to thicken a few minutes.  (This is an easy trick to use in place of eggs in most recipes).
3.  Add melted coconut oil, applesauce, nondairy milk, and vanilla.
4.  Whisk together gluten-free flour (see my mix suggestion below), powder and soda, and add to wet.  Fold in berries, and if batter seems too dry, add in 1-2 tablespoons applesauce or water as needed.

If you don't have a whisk handy, use a fork
5.  Fill ramekins 1/2 to 3/4 full and bake 28-34 minutes or until inserted knife or toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool, run a knife along ramekin edge to loosen, invert and serve warm.

3/4 full makes for a giant muffin that may take a few minutes longer to bake
no idea how these taste cold; they won't last that long!
**For additional protein, I used 1/2 cup quinoa flour (coconut flour tastes great too),  2 tablespoons  garbanzo bean flour, 1 tablespoon brown rice flour, and 1 tablespoon tapioca flour.
My fave coconut milk in the world is the So Delicious brand (link above).  It's creamy and sweet yet unsweetened and extremely low in calories; impossible but true!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013 everything

Bob's Red Mill surprise of gluten-free goodies
I heart Bob's Red Mill--and the mill is in Oregon to boot!

I haven't had many whole-grain recipes on here (I'm sensitive to so many things, I usually eat the same basic foods and go pretty light on the brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, etc).  Yet a surprise shipment of gluten-free grains from Bob's Red Mill yesterday inspired me to play--and especially since it came in this fabulous case that looks like something Indiana Jones would tote around.

I love quinoa, and am familiar with it's nutty rich flavor, so began with that one.  Here are a few simple quinoa dishes that are fast, filling and tasty.  The Quinoa Date Cookie recipe is one of my original healthy creation recipes, and is featured in my cookbook, of which there are limited quantities floating around out there.  Hopefully in the not too distant future I'll find a publisher or more profitable way to get my cookbook sales going again, but for now, I hope you're enjoying my blog!  Here is a salad, breakfast option and amazing cookie recipe, all made with the glorious and gluten-free grain that is quinoa.

Quick Quinoa Kale Fennel Salad


1 cup cooked quinoa
1 large orange, peeled and ripped into segments
2 teaspoons fresh lemon and orange juices
1 bulb raw fennel
1 heaping tablespoon stoneground mustard
several leaves kale
salt and pepper to taste, if desired.


Cook quinoa and add in ingredients in a large bowl; toss and chill.

Quinoa Breakfast Bowl


1/2 cup cooked quinoa
1 tablespoon chia seeds
few tablespoons unsweetened coocnut milk or water
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 banana, mashed
2 teaspoons honey, optional


Cook quinoa, and then add in ingredients in a medium bowl, heat, let sit a few minutes to thicken and enjoy.
(Yes it looks like duck food, and yes, it's delicious.  Especially on a cold morning.)

...and everyone's favorite:

Quinoa Date Cookies

My quinoa date cookies: loved by all


9 medjool dates, pitted and chopped
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
¼ cup mashed banana or applesauce
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup cooked quinoa*
1 tablespoon flax meal or chia with 2 tablespoons water
1-1/4 cup gluten-free flour (equal parts brown rice flour, sorghum flour and buckwheat flour)
½ tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp sea salt
½ cup nondairy chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix flax meal and water; let stand five minutes.
3.  Beat dates, oil and banana together; add in vanilla, cooked quinoa*, and chia seeds with water.
4.  Fold dry ingredients into wet, fold in chocolate chips last.
5.  Let dough chill for 30 minutes, scoop out into 2-tablespoon sized cookies.
6.  Flatten slightly, bake 12-16 minutes.

*cook the quinoa stovetop, or in your rice cooker for a quick, easy option that results in a fluffy quinoa.