Recipe Friday: Healthy Chocolate Pudding

RecipeFridayHealthyChocolatePudding

I made this up when I was craving a chocolate treat. My health issues were flaring, so I had to be very careful with what I ate. This worked!
The kefir is a good probiotic; the honey provides a healthy sweetness. Since this is no-cook, the benefits of each are not compromised.
Maca is a plant-based superfood. This is an adaptogenic herb and it can balance hormone levels, boost energy, and support a healthy libido. It is rich in antioxidants; enhances mood, energy, and memory; balances estrogen levels, and boosts male fertility. See https://draxe.com/nutrition/top-5-maca-root-benefits-and-nutrition/
Matcha green tea is another adaptogenic superfood. It helps boost the immune system; aids in detoxification; slows cancer cell growth; and can help with weight loss. See https://naturallivingfamily.com/matcha-green-tea-benefits/
Raw cacao is also an adaptogenic antioxidant.
This recipe provides protein from chia seeds and protein powders.
The coffee granules are optional; coffee intensifies chocolate flavor.

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup chia seed
  • 1 tablespoon raw cacao powder
  • 1 (heaping) tablespoon maca powder
  • 1 (heaping) tablespoon matcha green tea powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons raw honey (optional) or other sweetener such as maple syrup, give or take to taste
  • 1 scoop high-quality chocolate protein powder
  • 1/2 scoop high-quality vanilla protein powder
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups dairy or nondairy milk
  • 1/2 cup kefir

Directions:

Mix together in either a blender or a tall container for an immersion blender.

Add all ingredients to the container.
Blend until all ingredients are incorporated and pudding is smooth (2-4 minutes, depending on the blender and how smooth you like it).
Cover and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.

Yield: 2 cups
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: no cook

Recipe Friday: Edible Chocolate Play Dough

RecipeFridayEdibleChocolatePlayDough

This time, Recipe Friday is for something completely fun! This chocolate play dough is the perfect consistency to make any shape you like. It rolls out or rolls up or curls or stands or shapes. And it’s no-cook, besides being tasty!

This recipe, and the photo, are taken from a Cook’n newsletter at http://www.dvo.com/newsletter/monthly/2012/may/funtimes.html . Shameless plug (because it’s that good): For anyone looking for the perfect recipe organizer software, this is it. If you visit the site, be sure to click around and investigate. With Cook’n software, you can browse the Internet, capture a recipe, and organize it in several ways. You can also share your recipes via Internet, e-mail, Facebook, etc. And you can convert your hand-written recipes into digital to save, or scan or take photos of a recipe.

A word about using: It’s best to work the dough with clean hands on a clean surface, if you plan on eating it. Don’t use chemical cleansers to clean. Although this dough will keep quite a while (I don’t know for how long), it won’t stand up to multiple uses simply because it will accumulate too many germs. Please be safe with it. (It’s too tempting to eat it right away, anyway.)

Use this to create shapes, or even use for Christmas decorations. You can make cake or cookie toppers, edible containers for treats, or whatever your imagination leads you to. Your finished shapes play well with add-ins (dried fruit, nuts, chocolate chips), frostings, and sprinkles.

Edible Chocolate Play Dough

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 3/4 cup dry milk powder
  • 1/2 cup butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix and knead by hand until desired consistency (something like a Tootsie Roll).

Bonus recipe: Peanut Butter Play Dough

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • ½ cup dry, powdered milk
  • 1 T honey

Mix all ingredients together by hand. Mold, sculpt, and eat!

Recipe Friday: Chocolate Coconut Granola

RecipeFridayChocolateCoconutCereal

Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 45 min

Yield: about 6 cups

I bought some of this at a health food store for an outrageous price. I really enjoyed what I bought, but when it ran out, I decided I would try to make my own. I was greatly pleased with the first batch – yum! Of course, I had to tweak it just a bit. I added ground flax seed, and therefore had to adjust oat and coconut levels. This recipe is very malleable – adjust it any way you want.

As far as sweeteners go, please refer to my post Recipe Friday: Treat Time! Chocolate Mug Cake, where I discuss various sweeteners.

For this Granola recipe, I do not recommend honey, as boiling destroys the nutrients. I prefer to save honey for non-cooked items, so I can reap its benefits.

Surprisingly, this makes a great cold cereal, or eat it as a granola, i.e., on top of yogurt.
Other ingredients I’ve added or thought of:

  • chia seeds
  • bone broth powder, collagen powder, powdered gelatin, powdered psyllium husk, powdered adaptogenic herbs
  • dried fruit (raisins, currants, figs, dates, etc) (after baking)

For ingredients added prior to baking, adjust amounts of other dry ingredients so that all dry ingredients (oats, coconut, flaxseed, etc) add up to 6 1/2 cups, so that you’ll have enough chocolate mixture to coat. Alternately, if your dry ingredients add up to more than 6 ½ cups, double the chocolate coating ingredients.
Ingredients added after baking can be in any amount you want.

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 cups old fashioned or quick oats
  • 2 cups shredded coconut (use less if finely shredded, or more if you like a lot)
  • 1 cup ground flaxseed meal (may combine with chia seed or other seeds)

Chocolate Coating:

  • 3/4 cup or less of sweetener (recommend sucanat, coconut palm sugar, stevia, date sugar, pure maple syrup, molasses, or a combination of natural organic sweeteners)
  • 1/3 cup raw cacao powder or baking cocoa
  • 1/4 cup milk (dairy or non-dairy)
  • 1/2 cup or more of butter or coconut oil or combination
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Optional ingredients (powders)

 

  • Optional dried fruits

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300°
  2. In a large bowl, mix together oats, coconut, and flaxseed meal. Set aside.
  3. In a small saucepan, mix together sweetener and baking cocoa until lumps are out.
  4. Stir in milk and butter (or coconut oil). Stir over medium high heat until it boils.
  5. Adjust heat to simmer for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. (This is a good time to do a taste test to see if the sweetness level works for you.)
  6. If you are adding powders such as bone broth powder, collagen, or powdered gelatin, whisk in now.
  7. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.
  8. Pour chocolate mixture over oat mixture and stir until thoroughly mixed.
  9. Coat a jellyroll pan generously with coconut or olive oil. Pour chocolate oat mixture into pan and spread to edges. Bake at 300° for 20 minutes, then stir. Continue baking another 25 minutes. Total baking time: 45 minutes.
  10. Turn off the oven and leave the cereal mixture in until it cools to room temperature, stirring once or twice more.
  11. If you are adding non-baking items, such as dried fruit, stir it in now.

Store in an airtight container.

Recipe Friday: Treat Time! Chocolate Mug Cake

RecipeFridayTreatDayChcolateMugCake

I have always had a sweet tooth. Chocolate is my weakness when it comes to cheating on what I am allowed to eat. I found a recipe that I could adapt, and this is my chocolate escape. Please adapt this to whatever fits your diet and tastes.

A word about sweeteners: Be very careful with what you use to sweeten your foods. Sugar that you buy off the shelf is most often GMO (which means it is genetically altered so that it won’t die when sprayed with weed/pest killer, which means it is drenched with weed/pest killer), and processed until you get that pure, white sparkly garbage with no nutritional value. This includes cane sugar and beet sugar. If in doubt, do your homework and find out where your food comes from and what they do to it.

Go organic: they don’t use chemicals.

Non-organic uses chemicals. Chemicals are absorbed into the foods, and then absorbed into us when we eat it.

Please only use natural sweeteners. These include (real) raw and unprocessed honey, pure (real) maple syrup, sucanat (unprocessed cane sugar), stevia (no calorie), monkfruit (no calorie), coconut palm sugar, dates (you can buy date sugar, which is ground up / powdered dried dates; it doesn’t dissolve, but is good in baked and cooked recipes, like cakes and oatmeal), and blackstrap molasses. These natural sweeteners come with God-provided vitamins and minerals, are not too high on the glycemic index, and are satisfying.

Not-so-good sweeteners: fructose, agave, xylitol, malitol, erythritol, brown rice syrup. Some of these may be okay if used sparingly, but again, check where they come from, if they’re organic, and how much they’re processed.

Bad sweeteners (these are toxic): saccacharine, aspartame, sucralose, truvia, corn syrup. Brand names are Sweet n Low, Nutra Sweet, Equal, and Splenda. These are chemically altered or chemically produced sweeteners and are toxic to your body.

I’ve taken much of my information from the Green Smoothie Girl’s website: https://greensmoothiegirl.com/good-bad-ugly-sugar-alternatives/ , and she has a handy cheat sheet chart link near the end of the article (when you click on it, you must give your e-mail address to receive it; I love what I get in my inbox from greensmoothiegirl!).

To the recipe:

This recipe is good for a quick snack. It serves two, unless you want it all for yourself and a little tummy ache.

Be careful when microwaving cake: a few seconds too much, and you end up with a dry rock. Start with the minimum time; if you need more, microwave in ten-second increments until done but still moist. The cake continues to bake for a minute or so after it comes out. (Confession note: I always use my 2-cup Pyrex measuring cup to make my mug cake. I did this time, too; but then I scooped the dough into a nice glass dish to bake, so it would look prettier in the picture.)

The nut butter taste does not come out, but adds depth of flavor and good texture.

I recently added peppermint essential oil to this, and it was YUM! The essential oil is completely optional.

The instant coffee powder taste does not come through, but it intensifies the chocolate flavor.

Chocolate Mug Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter, natural (no sugar added) (or any nut butter you prefer)
  • 1 tablespoon natural sweetener, such as sucanat, maple syrup, or honey*
  • 1/4 teaspoon instant coffee powder
  • 3-4 drops peppermint essential oil or other essential oil of your choice (orange would go nicely, for example) (this is optional)
  • 1 tablespoon raw cacao powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon aluminum free baking soda
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup flour or your choice (I usually use barley or oat)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce**
  • 1 tbsp semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. In a 2-cup, microwavable dish, melt the butter. Add the peanut butter and mix together.
  2. Add the sweetener, coffee powder, optional essential oil, cacao, baking soda, salt, and vanilla. Mix thoroughly.
  3. Stir in the flour and applesauce. Mix well.
  4. Add the chocolate chips and mix well.
  5. Microwave for 40-50 seconds (less for a fudgy middle and more for a lighter texture throughout; and depending on the power of your microwave).

This is delicious hot or warm. It is even better if you can wait until it cools (even better the next day!).

*If using stevia, start with 1/8 teaspoon.

** Note: I use applesauce because I can’t have eggs. You can add 1 egg instead of the applesauce.

Bonus Recipe

RecipeFridayTreatDayChocMugBrownie

I adapted the mug cake into a 7×11” pan of brownies. It uses flax and chia seeds instead of eggs, but you can use 2 eggs instead (or even 1/2 cup of applesauce), if you like. Using some liquid sweetener (the maple syrup) helps to soften the thick batter.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon (scant) ground flaxseed
  • 1 tablespoon (scant) ground chia seed
  • 1/4 cup filtered water
  • 1/2 cup softened or melted butter
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup sucanat sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup raw cacao unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons instant coffee
  • 2 teaspoons aluminum free baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 cups choice of flour (I use oat, barley, spelt, or einkorn)
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips, 1 1/2 cups if you want extra-chocolatey

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare a 7×11″ baking pan by buttering or spraying with oil.
  2. In a small dish, mix the ground flax and chia with the water.
  3. In a medium-large mixing bowl, combine softened/melted butter, nut butter, and sweeteners.
  4. Add flax/chia mix and beat well (until the flax/chia lumps are out). Add the vanilla, cacao, instant coffee, baking soda, and salt; stir in.
  5. Slowly mix in the flour; stir until it is all incorporated well. Batter will be stiff (especially if you are multi-tasking and let the flax/chia sit in the batter for too long).
  6. Carefully stir in chocolate chips.
  7. Pour into prepared pan, smooth out to edges. (The batter is quite thick – so thick, you can handle it with your hands.)
  8. Bake 30 – 35 minutes. Check for doneness (toothpick should come out clean or with some crumbs).

This is best if allowed to cool first, and even better the next day.