Monday, 30 April 2012

Raw Veggie Crackers with Garlic and Italian Herbs

I have been really wanting to make a raw bread or raw cracker lately. I spend so much time searching for recipes, that I run out of time to actually make the recipe!

Then, I got inspired.

This recipe is great because it can be moulded and change to suit the tastes of the person making it. My favourite type of recipe!
I also loved how quick and easy this recipe came together. I sort of just threw what I wanted into the processor and mixed until I got my desired consistency!

Ready Time:
Approximately 1-2 days, depending on whether your soak and dehydrate your almonds first.

Actual Prep Time:
About 10 minutes!

1 garlic glove
1/2 cup raw almonds (soaked overnight and dehydrated first- optional.)
1/4 cup golden flax seeds (ground in a coffee grinder)
1 heaping tbsp hemp hearts
1 heaping tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp sesame seeds
3/4-1 cup grated carrot or carrot pulp
1/2-3/4 cup grated zucchini
1 heaping tbsp italian herbs
1 tbsp onion powder
salt and pepper, to taste (optional)
1-3 tbsp clean water (only if needed)

1. With food processor running, drop in the garlic clove. It will mince and splatter against the walls.
2. Add the almonds. Process until you get a fine crumbly powder.
3. Add the ground flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp hearts and sesame seeds. Pulse to incorporate.
4. Add the italian herbs and onion powder. Add more italian herbs if you really like the taste, and if you find that your garlic is very strong. Add salt and pepper, if using.
5. Add grated veggies. I am sure red pepper, celery and even spinach could be used also!
6. Process until thoroughly mixed. You may have to stop a few times and scrape down the sides of the processor. If you think the mixture is too thick, try adding water to thin it out a little bit. (Only use about 1 tbsp at a time! I didn't need to use any- my carrots and zucchini were moist enough themselves.)
7. Dump the mixture onto a non-stick baking mat, dehydrator sheet, or parchment paper. Spread over with the back of a spoon, not quite 1/2 inch thick. Clean up the edges and score with a butter knife.
* I was able to fill one entire 11" sheet with this- which made about 20 crackers. Double or triple the recipe as desired.
8. Dehydrate at 145 degrees for one hour, then dehydrate at 115 for 4-6 more hours, depending on how crispy you want it. Flip about halfway through. Store in a sealed bag in the fridge.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Vegan, GF, Sugar-free Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies are delicious! I haven't had any luck making gluten-free cookies and haven't really tried. The few times I made them, they were too liquid-y and sticky and when I put them in the oven, they just spread into each other over the entire cookie sheet.
Today I was craving chocolate chip cookies like crazy, so I went through my bookmarks and I found this recipe and decided to try it out.

I made a few changes to suit what I had in the house and what suited my needs. I try to eat sugar-free whenever possible, so I skipped the sugar and used agave instead of maple sugar, adding an extra half-tablespoon. I also don't have any grapeseed oil or safflower oil in the house so I decided to use coconut oil instead. Worked like a charm! I also ran out of tapioca starch the other day, so I subbed that for arrowroot powder and used the entire 1/4 cup of potato starch. I used 1/2 cup of sorghum and omitted the brown rice flour. If I wasn't in such a hurry to eat cookies, I would have ground up some almonds in my mini grinder to use almond flour. I basically remade the recipe, so here is my version:

1/4 cup arrowroot powder
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup potato starch
1/4 tsp xanthum gum
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup + 1 tsp agave
1 1/12 tsp vanilla extract
Chocolate chunks

1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Mix dry ingredients, stir.
3. Add wet ingredients one by one and stir to combine. Batter will be thick and very yummy looking.
4. Fold in chocolate chips and allow dough to sit for at least 10 minutes or longer to thicken up.
5. Drop by tablespoon full onto a greased cookie pan and bake for 10 minutes.
6. Remove cookies from oven and allow to sit for a few minutes. They will continue to cook once out of the oven, so don't worry if they look a bit underdone.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Nettle Kale Fruit Smoothie

I love smoothies!
I don't care if it has mangoes, bananas, blueberries, strawberries, cranberries, blackberries, kale, spinach, ginger, peach, pear, apples, nettles, romaine lettuce or whatever it has. (As long as there is no pineapple!) I like to put kale in all my smoothies- whenever I have it on hand. It's just so yummy and healthy!
I love smoothies.

Most of the time when I make a smoothie, I just throw whatever I feel like into a magic bullet cup, twist on blender attachment and whizz away for a moment. And drink. I love my magic bullet almost as much as I love smoothies.

It's stinging nettle season! These little green leaves are so fresh, spring-like and tasty. Healthy, too!

Benefits of stinging nettles:
1. Relieves pain associated with joints or arthritis. This is especially helpful for me since I have a painful wrist and hand!
2. Treat respiratory issues, such as asthma. Helpful in the spring as a remedy against hay fever and other spring-related allergies.
3. Protect against cancer.
4. Help slow any bleeding. (high vitamin K content.)
5. When dried, there is little no no vitamin K, making it useful as a blood thinner! This amazing little herb can be used as both a blood thickener and a blood thinner! Amazing! Helpful for those with high blood pressure.
6. Helps treat both alzheimers and ADHD.

Side Affects:
These little buggers can STING! Use gloves when handling and especially if you go out picking them yourself!

Follow me on instagram @missymichelleee

Nettle Kale Fruit Smoothie
makes one magic bullet smoothie cup, one serving

1 handful nettles, stems removed (keep stems if you want, I remove since the magic bullet isn't THAT magical)
1 leaf of kale
7-8 cubes of frozen mango (about 1/2 cup)
1 half banana
2-3 strawberries (can omit, I like nutrient content of berries, so I always add a berry into my smoothies)
approx 3/4 cup coconut water (from the bottom of a full fat coconut can, leftovers from a full coconut or store-bought. Use water if you don't have.)
Raw Power or other raw protein blend, ground chia or hemp seeds (optional)

Add all ingredients. Blend! Add a splash of water if it's too thick.


Thursday, 12 April 2012

Chickpea Edamame Burgers

I first tried a chickpea edamame burger at Mad Chef Cafe, here in Courtenay. Ever since, I have been trying to recreate their recipe. It's just so good! While my version is definitely different then theirs, I don't mind it. This one is thicker and and Mad Chef's is thinner and more fragile. I think the amount of flour and the arrowroot powder helps bind and keep this a hefty burger. I have layered the mixture for extra texture and it makes a big difference. Excellent with a garden salad and beet mango dressing!
I hope you enjoy this!!

2 cups cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained
16 oz edamame (measurement with shells on. De-shell before using. About 1.3-1.5 cups)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp tahini (sesame seed paste)
salt and pepper, to taste
1 clove of garlic
2 tbsp onion powder
1/4 cup minus 1 tbsp flour (garbanzo bean flour or rice flour)
1 tbsp arrowroot powder (for binding- use regular flour if you don't have)
1 tbsp flax + 3 tbsp warm water

1. Grind flax and add to a bowl with water, stir and allow to sit until it forms a flax "egg."
2. With food processor running, drop in garlic clove. It should mince.
3. Add 1/2 cup of chickpeas and 1/4 of the edamame to the food processor. Mix until crumbly and still a wee bit chunky.
4. Transfer mixture to bowl.
5. In food processor, add remaining chickpeas (1.5 cups) 1/2 of the edamame and the flour mixture. Mix until combined. Add flax egg, lemon juice, tahini and 1 tbsp of olive oil. Add onion powder, salt and pepper, to taste. (I like it with a lot of pepper!) Pulse to incorporate.
6. Transfer mixture to bowl with previous mixture. Stir well to incorporate. Doing it this way allows different textures. If the mixture is too stiff, add the remaining 1 tbsp of oil.
7. Stir in remaining edamame, whole. The mixture will have different sized chunks and a good texture by layering it this way.
8. Add a small amount of olive oil to frying pan and heat on medium-high. With wet hands, shape mixture into thin patties and place on frying pan. Cook for about 7 minutes and flip. With the back of the spatula, squish the patties down. (Unless they are already thin enough.) Cook for another 7 minutes, or until done.
9. Pair with salad or eat on a bun and enjoy this unique flavour combination!


These recipes seem to be everywhere- I wish I had of discovered it before!
Hungry? Want a snack? Want something quick and convenient, but short on time? Lazy? Don't want to eat an entire batch of muffins to yourself? Have some almond butter or jam and nothing to spread it upon?
Any of these reasons are reason enough to try a mugcake!

I have two separate versions. A mugcake with flour, like a real muffin. And a protein mugcake, which is something totally strange but it works!

Regular Mugcake

1 tbsp flax + 3 tbsp warm water
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tbsp. agave
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup flour of your choice (usually a mix works best- tapioca starch and/or potato starch mixed with almond, sorghum or brown rice flour)
2 tsp hemp seeds (opt)
berries, chocolate chips, etc.

1. Grind flax and put in mug, stir in the water and allow to sit for approximately 5 minutes until egg-like. Choose a large enough mug- mixture will double in size once cooked.
2. Add vanilla and agave, stir.
3. Add baking powder and salt, stir.
4. Add hemp seeds, if using.
5. Add flour and mix well. Keep stirring until incorporated. Should be a sticky wet batter.
6. Stir in your choice of berries or chocolate chips, or whatever you would like.
7. Cook in the microwave on high for approximately 3 minutes. Allow to stand for another 2 minutes. It may need an additional 15-30 seconds, depending on your microwave. Don't overcook or the side of the mugcake will become tough.
8. Loosen from the mug, cut open and enjoy with almond butter, jam or earth balance! yum!

Protein Mugcake

1 scoop vanilla or chocolate protein powder (I have tried Progressive Harmonized Vegan Blend in vanilla flavour- and I know Sunwarrior works also. I cannot vouch for any other products- especially not vegan ones. But it should be okay.)
1 tbsp flax + 3 tbsp warm water
1 tbsp agave (or other liquidy sweetener)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
dash of cinnamon or extra vanilla, if desired.
hemp hearts, if desired.
berries or chocolate chips, if desired.

Use same directions, using the protein powder instead of the flour. Will make a smaller mugcake then the first recipe, but more nutrient dense and far more satisfying.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Hot Cereal

I make this quite often- basically whenever I don't have any pre-made raw "granola" to use for a cold cereal. I've seen several different recipes that are similar on the web, but this is a pretty basic breakdown to get you started on your own hot cereal adventures!

1/2 cup buckwheat groats or quinoa, uncooked.
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup vanilla flavoured almond milk (or other vanilla flavoured milk)
1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup raisins (optional)
other mix-ins (sliced almonds, other roughly chopped nuts, sliced bananas, strawberries, blueberries, apples- whatever.)

1. Heat water, milk and buckwheat (or quinoa) in a pot until it reaches boiling. Lower the heat to low and cover with a lid. Cook to the directions on the package. (Buckwheat is about 12 minutes, quinoa is 15-17 minutes normally.) *I like mine to be a bit mushy and liquid-y, therefore I start off with a lot of liquid. Cook to directions on the package if you are unsure- equal parts water and milk is the unwritten rule for this.
2. When almost done, mix in raisins and nuts, if using. I like to add them in when there is about 1-2 minutes left, so they get soft and warm.
3. When done, add in other mix-ins you might want. I usually add bananas and blueberries. Add more milk if you desire, I usually do at this point.
4. Transfer to bowl and serve! Enjoy a protein packed breakfast that will sustain you!

Mix-In Ideas:
- sliced apples or applesauce, raisins, chopped pecans, extra cinnamon and ground cardamon seed.
- bananas, sliced almonds and a spoonful of almond butter, mixed in while still cooking.
- strawberry, banana and blueberry (omit cinnamon and raisin)
- sliced almond, banana and raw cacao powder (omit raisins) - haven't tried this yet, but it is on my to-try list, yummy chocolate!

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Coconut Carrot Spiced Loaf

I am very excited to share this recipe! I was formulating it in my mind for a while. I had a bit of help from Gluten-Free Goddess and Oh She Glows. I built this recipe using Gluten-Free Goddess' carrot spice bread as a guideline, but it ended up being more like her bread then I originally intended.

Some might find that coconut and carrot and spices would be an odd combination for a loaf, but it's delicious! The coconut flour and coconut cream make this cake dense and moist and not dry or crumbling like a lot of gluten-free, vegan baking can get. The taste is not coconut. It tastes like the spices with a hint of carrot-sweetness. I used a full teaspoon of ground ginger, but next time I will only use 3/4. The batter on this was also a bit moist for me. You may need to add an additional tablespoon of flour, choose either sorghum or almond.

I hope everyone tries this at some point... really, gluten-free can taste REAL good!

1 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup almond flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1/4 cup coconut flour
1 tbsp arrowroot starch
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp xanthum gum (I assume guar gum would be okay, too.)
1 heaping tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 heaping tsp. nutmeg
1/2 cup organic agave syrup
2 tsp vanilla
1 small can full-fat coconut milk (use the water AND the cream)
2 flax "eggs"
(2 tbsp ground flax + 6 tbsp warm water, mix thoroughly and let sit for 5-10 minutes to gel up)
1 cup grated carrot
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup roughly chopped walnuts, sunflower seeds or pecans, plus more for the topping

1. Preheat oven to 350f.
2. Mix the flax eggs and allow to sit.
3. Mix dry ingredients in large mixing bowl.
4. In medium mixing bowl, mix ready flax "eggs" with agave and stir. Add vanilla and cream. Use a mixer to mix the cream, or beat the cream with the liquid inside the can before adding to avoid clumps. If cream clumps occur, try to get them out but they will not ruin the recipe!
5. Pour wet ingredients in with dry ingredients and mix. Add carrots, nuts and raisins and stir until incorporated.
6. Pour batter into greased loaf pan. Smooth top with the back of a wet spoon.
7. Sprinkle finely chopped nuts on top, if desired. Push nuts with fingers into batter.
8. Bake for about 50-60 minutes. Leave it in the pan until cool enough to remove and then let it cool the rest of the way on a rack. Do not let it sit in the pan for too long or it will get soggy. Do not try to cut into it while it is still hot either, it will be fragile.

Serve with earth balance or a cream cheese spread and devour!