dessert

Happy Spring & Meyer Lemon Pudding

Spring has sprung and our bodies are ready for fresh lighter foods and more movement. It can be a difficult transition at times since we’ve been moving slow for so long, but our bodies actually thrive when we can adapt to the seasons.

This is a time of shedding what doesn't serve us (physically, mentally, emotionally) and become a fresher, lighter, and more powerful version of ourselves. 

I personally like to ease my body into Spring by freshening up my meals with a bit of raw foods, start with a few room-temp smoothies, and snacking on fresh fruit. I also like to start taking my movement outside more. I feel this helps my body adapt to the change better instead of going all in.

This pudding was one of the first Spring treats I made and enjoyed in the sun. May you have an easeful and inspiring transition. 

meyer lemon pudding raspberries

Ingredients

1 can full-fat BPA free coconut milk

½ cup filtered water

4 Tablespoons chia seeds (I used white chia seeds but any color works)

Zest and juice of 1 large meyer lemon

2 Tablespoons maple syrup, more to taste

½ teaspoon turmeric

Pinch of sea salt

1 cup raspberries, mashed with a fork, for garnish

 

Procedure

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together all ingredients except raspberries. Taste and adjust sweetness to your liking.

  2. Let sit in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

  3. Pour into pretty glasses and top with mashed raspberries.

 

meyer lemon pudding with raspberries

Scrumptious Berry Crumble {Gluten-Free}

Isn't berry season the best season ever?!

Some of nature's best candy, in my opinion. 

I've noticed that every year for the past 3 years, this is the first dessert I make with berries when they come around. It's just too good and simple not to.

Goes extra well with some creamy coconut ice cream. 

Indulge without guilt with this gluten-free and refined sugar-free dessert. 

 

Ingredients

Berry Layer:

3 1/2 cups mixed berries (raspberries, blackberries, blueberries)

1 Tablespoon coconut sugar

 

Crumble Layer:

2 cups gluten-free rolled oats

1/2 cup brown rice flour

1/4 cup coconut sugar

2 teaspoons goji extract powder

1 teaspoon lucuma

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon cardamom

1/4 teaspoon vanilla bean or vanilla extract

Pinch of sea salt

3/4 cup ghee/clarified butter, diced

Procedure

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. 
  2. To make berry layer: Toss berries with coconut sugar in a medium-size bowl and place in your baking dish. 
  3. To make crumble: Place all ingredients, except ghee, in a large bowl and combine well. Add ghee and press down with fork or pastry cutter to cut ghee into smaller pieces and blend into the mixture. 
  4. Spread out crumble evenly over berries. 
  5. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until berries are soft and crumble is browned (not burnt). 

Recipe and Photos by Giovanna Garcia

 

Chocolate For The Heart

It's no coincidence that chocolate is the treat of choice for the love holiday. Here are 3 benefits of cacao that nourish the heart:

Heart Opener

Cacao, in its raw and unprocessed form, is a food that naturally opens and connects us to our heart space. It allows us to feel deeper into our emotions and desires. This is why we share chocolate with loved ones so we can be open and connect with one another perhaps on a more meaningful level. 

High in Magnesium

Another major health property of raw cacao is that it is the highest food source of magnesium, which is an essential mineral for many bodily functions. It relaxes muscles and the nervous system, aids digestion, and alkalizes the body. Raw cacao also improves sleep, hydrates, and supports bone health. Magnesium is important for heart health because it keeps calcium levels balanced.

Cacao as an Aphrodisiac

Cacao contains Theobromine, which is a natural occurring chemical that is a stimulant similar to coffee but without the caffeine. It also relaxes blood vessels, dropping blood pressure, and allowing us to relax. The Aztecs referred to cacao as food of the Gods mainly due to it containing theobromnie and using it as a healing and opening substance before making love - an aphrodisiac!


Live A Lot Superfood Chocolate is intentionally made with the highest quality fair-trade raw cacao to obtain the endless health benefits of this food. We infuse our bars with a blend of medicinal mushrooms to make them more nourishing and delicious. 

These bars are decadent on their own, but if you feel like getting creative, there are many ways to enjoy this chocolate. One of my favorite ways is simply melting it down and drizzling it over fresh fruit. 

For an extra playful experience in the bedroom with your partner, melt the chocolate down and let your imagination and playfulness flow. 

 Chocolate Dipped Fresh Figs and Chocolate Drizzled Fresh Apples

Chocolate Dipped Fresh Figs and Chocolate Drizzled Fresh Apples

 Melted Chocolate Drizzled on Creamy Coconut Ice Cream

Melted Chocolate Drizzled on Creamy Coconut Ice Cream

xx,

Giovanna

Guilt-Free Holiday Thumbprint Cookies

'Tis the season for all the indulgent (and healthy) things! 

Yes, this time of year we are presented with treats everywhere we go, but I like to always find a way to bring in some nourishment into the mix. For me, it starts with completely erasing the story of healthy needing to be boring and indulgent needing to be 'bad for you.'

The quality of ingredients is key when making anything healthy yet still indulgent. When we use organic and unrefined ingredients, our body actually knows how to process them and there is no inflammation or sluggishness involved. You truly can have your cake and eat it too. 

I've been making these cookies for the past month for clients, friends, and events. They're a hit and super easy to make. Give them a try at your holiday gatherings coming up. 

Ingredients

Oat cookie base:

2 cups oat flour (blend gluten-free oats to make flour)

¼ cup coconut flour

½ teaspoon baking soda

⅓ cup coconut palm sugar

⅛ teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 organic egg

⅓ cup melted coconut oil

2-3 Tablespoons water or almond milk, as needed

 

Fruit Jam Filling:

1 pound fresh cranberries (or fruit of choice)

3 Tablespoons pure maple syrup

Juice of 1 lemon

 

Melted organic dark chocolate to drizzle over baked cookies. Get some superfood chocolate here or make your own

Procedure

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.

  2. To make cookie base: In a small bowl, mix flours, baking soda, coconut sugar, and sea salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together coconut oil, egg water or almond milk, and vanilla. Add dry mixture to wet mixture and whisk to combine well. Add enough liquid until dough comes together. Roll dough into 1-inch balls and flatten out slightly on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Use finger to make a dent in the middle of the cookie.

  3. To make jam: Place cranberries in a medium saucepan along with maple syrup and lemon juice. Let simmer, stirring occasionally, until cranberries start popping and become soft like a puree. Taste and adjust flavor to your liking.

  4. Add fruit jam to center of cookies. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until bottom of cookies is lightly browned.

  5. Melt chocolate in a double boiler. Place cookies on a parchment lined flat surface such as a cutting board or baking sheet. Drizzle with melted chocolate as much as you want. Place in refrigerator for a few minutes, until chocolate is firm. Remove from fridge and enjoy. Note: If you want to eat them while still warm, skip putting them in the fridge and enjoy with the chocolate melted over cookies. 

Makes ~20 cookies

 

 

 

Best Ever Apple Pie

ReishiApplePie2.jpg

What makes this apple pie the best ever is the love and quality ingredients that went into it. My lovely friend Julia from Dessert Medicine was visiting and we got busy in the kitchen. 

It's a wonderful experience to share space in the kitchen with someone and let each others intuitive powers flow and blend together. 

We had an abundance of apples and a vision of an apple pie a few days prior to making this, and without rules, recipes, or expectations, we joined to execute the most amazing pie I've ever created. Julia made the crust and I made the filling. Together we made magic! 

I invite you to play in the kitchen with friends, lovers, and family. You too can create something delicious, wether you're a self-proclaimed chef or not. All you need is some inspiration, a few ingredients, and some good intentions. 

Ingredients

Crust:

2 cups gluten-free oats

1 cup almonds

2 Tablespoons flax seeds or chia seeds, plus 1/4 cup water

2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup

1 Tablespoon lucuma powder

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon each ginger, nutmeg, cardamom

1/4 teaspoon himalayan salt

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

 

Apple Filling:

5 apples, sliced

¼ cup coconut palm sugar

3 Tablespoons melted coconut oil

2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup

2 Tablespoons lucuma powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon cardamom

½ teaspoon reishi powder

Pinch of nutmeg

Pinch of sea salt

Procedure

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. 

To make crust:

  1. Grind flax or chia in a spice grinder, to make a powder and mix with water to make a gel.
  2. Blend oats and almonds in a high power blender, into a flour. 
  3. Melt down coconut oil, if not already liquid.
  4. Add all ingredients to a large mixing bowl and mix by hand.
  5. Press crust mixture into a pie dish, evenly pinching the sides and set aside.

To make apple filling:

  1. Combine all filling ingredients in a bowl. Taste and adjust flavor/sweetness to your preference.
  2. Pour over crust and spread out evenly in pie pan.
  3. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until crust is slightly browned and apples are cooked through and soft. 

Serve with ice cream. We served it with a homemade Honey Lavender Coconut Ice Cream that I had in my freezer (recipe coming soon!). 

Oat & Pear Muffins

I love fall and all it's glory. So much goodness, nourishment, and warmth. I believe in eating with the seasons since what's in season (locally, wherever you live) is naturally what our bodies need. So although you may love your smoothies and raw foods (I sure do), if you're in cold weather, you might benefit more from cooked local and seasonal foods. 

The San Francisco cool weather sure has me wanting starchier and more grounding foods. Like pears, winter squashes, and persimmons. Yum! 

I gotta say that I'm not the best baker, but I've been surprising myself lately as I get more comfortable with it. 

These muffins are the perfect amount of sweet for a morning or afternoon treat. 

Ingredients

1 cup oat flour (ground up gluten-free oats) or almond flour

1 cup gluten-free rolled oats

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Pinch of sea salt

2 organic pasture-raised eggs

1/2 cup spring water or almond milk

1/4 cup raw honey

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 ripe pears, diced

Coconut palm sugar, to garnish muffins

Procedure

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. 
  2. Place all dry ingredients in a bowl and mix.
  3. Whisk together eggs, spring water or almond milk, raw honey, and vanilla. 
  4. Pour egg mixture onto dry ingredients and mix to combine well. Add diced pears and mix again. 
  5. Coat muffin molds with coconut oil or organic butter. Pour about 1/4 cup of batter into each mold and garnish with a few pinches of coconut palm sugar. 
  6. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean when inserted into center of muffin. 

Makes 8 muffins. 

Chocolate Dipped Persimmon Bars

If you haven't noticed by now, dessert is one of my favorite things to make (and perhaps eat). I love creating treats that are indulgent but also provide nourishment and satisfaction. I believe that dessert is one of the best ways to connect with others and build stronger relationships. Because who doesn't love dessert? 

I had the pleasure of spending a day creating treats with my amazing friend, Julia Corbett. She has a beautiful blog where she shares inspiration and recipes for Dessert Medicine (Yes, that exists!).

This recipe was specifically created to share in Dessert Medicine. Julia and I made magic in the kitchen and then played at the park while we enjoyed these delicious bars. Hop on over to her blog to get inspired and see pictures of the process: http://www.dessertmedicine.com/blog/2015/10/30/dessert-maker-giovanna-garcia. I also share how I personally get inspired to create healthy desserts and why I created my superfood chocolate bars.

 Photo by  Julia Corbett

Photo by Julia Corbett

Ingredients

4 Fuyu persimmons, chopped

2 Tablespoons coconut oil, melted

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground cardamom

3/4 cup Medjool dates, pitted

1/2 cup dried figs

1/3 cup goji berries

1/2 cup gluten-free oats

1/4 cup coconut flour

2 Tablespoons lucuma powder

1 teaspoon he shou wu powder

1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder

Sea salt, to taste

4 Superfood chocolate bars, melted

 

Procedure

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. 

2. Place chopped persimmons in a baking dish and toss with coconut oil, cinnamon, cardamom, and a pinch of sea salt. Bake for 10-20 minutes, until soft. 

3. In a food processor, combine baked persimmons along with remaining ingredients (except chocolate). Process until mixture sticks together when pressed with fingers. 

4. Line a dish or baking tin with parchment paper and press mixture down to flatten into desired thickness. Place in the freezer while you melt your chocolate. Melt chocolate on a double boiler. 

5. Remove dish from freezer and cut mixture into bars. Dip each bar into melted chocolate and place on a  parchment-lined plate or baking sheet. Once finished with all bars, place back in freezer until chocolate firms up. 

6. Remove from freezer and enjoy! Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. 

Makes ~10 bars

 

Gluten-Free {Kale} Brownies

There's a secret (not so secret) ingredient in these brownies. Yes, kale. And super delicious! 

I took an Ayurveda workshop this weekend, where I learned about my dosha constitution and what foods were suggested to make me feel better, and what foods could cause an imbalance in my body. Surprisingly, kale was on the 'avoid' list because my body prefers sweet, warming foods. Kale is bitter and can be cooling to the body. Nothing wrong with that, just learning that my body wants warmth and grounding. It's important to listen to the cues it gives us. 

I came home from the workshop, I opened my fridge and saw this large bunch of kale sticking out at me. I wanted to find a creative way to use it that might benefit my body more, so I immediately thought of adding it to a dessert, of course. Any excuse to make dessert. I made two desserts yesterday! Nourishing, refined sugar free, and decadent desserts. Mmmm yes, please. 

I had made kale brownies before but didn't write down the recipe, per usual. This recipe was a completely new - made up by my intuition and the little baking knowledge I have. I'm not a master baker (yet), but these brownies are winners!

Enjoy. 

Ingredients

4 large kale leaves, stems removed

2 large organic eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla 

1/2 cup spring or filtered water

1/2 cup melted coconut oil

1/2 cup pure maple syrup

3/4 cup gluten-free flour (I used a blend of buckwheat and brown rice flours)

3/4 cup raw cacao powder

1/2 cup coconut sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Procedure

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Place first six ingredients in blender or mixer and blend until smooth. 
  3. Transfer to a bowl and whisk in remaining ingredients. 
  4. Line an 8 x 8 baking dish with parchment paper or grease with coconut oil/organic butter. 
  5. Pour mixture into dish and bake for 20-30 minutes, checking at 20 minutes. Brownies are ready when toothpick comes out clean after inserting into middle of dish.
  6. Let cool for 10-15 minutes before cutting into squares. You may also leave it whole and slice like a cake. Sprinkle with shredded or cacao powder to decorate. 

 

Chocolate Cherry Chia Pudding

It's a rare day when I don't create some sort of chocolate concoction to nourish myself with. I used to feel like I was 'bad' for loving chocolate and eating it so much. I thought it was unhealthy. Until I learned the sacred and super nourishing benefits of raw cacao (Read more about cacao benefits here), then raw chocolate became a really happy and positive treat for me.

There's something about chocolate paired with cherries. I mean, two of the best foods this Mother Earth has gifted us! Do you agree?

I hope you can indulge too with my latest creation. As usual, the simplest ingredients make such a decadent treat.

I created this recipe for Oh My Drifter (photographed by Micaela). Click here for the cutest video of the making of this pudding. 

Ingredients

1 can full-fat coconut milk

1 cup frozen cherries

1/4 cup chia seeds

1/2 cup raw cacao powder

2-3 Tablespoons pure maple syrup

Pinch of sea salt

Procedure

  1. Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Let sit for 10-20 minutes to allow it to thicken. 

Enjoy every bite!