dessert

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. 

 

Berry Breakfast Bars

Don't be fooled by the title of this recipe. These bars can be eaten for breakfast, as well as any time of day or occasion. I wrote this recipe a while ago and had not posted it, so I thought it would be fitting to share it for 4th of July weekend since it's colorful and festive. 

I sampled these bars out at several events the past month, and people went crazy for them. So simple, yet so flavorful. I'm all about making food easy to prepare while really emphasizing on taste and eye appeal. Luckily, with living organic whole foods, there's not much work to do because it's so pretty and packed with deliciousness. 

Ingredients

2 cups medjool dates, pitted
½ cup gluten-free oats
½ cup raw sunflower seeds or nut/seed of choice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Juice of ½ lemon
Pinch of sea salt
1 cup mixed fresh berries, chopped

Procedure

  1. Place all ingredients in food processor, except fresh berries. Process until ingredients are well combined and mixture sticks together when pressed with fingers.
  2. Transfer to a parchment lined dish such as a pyrex or cake tin. Press mixture down into pan to flatten out. Here you can decide what thickness of bars you want. Place in freezer for about 20 minutes.
  3. While bottom layer is setting, place mixed berries in food processor and pulse a few times to coarsely chop them up. You may leave a few whole ones out for decoration. Spread over date mixture and slice into bars.

I hope you are inspired to make this recipe for your celebrations this weekend. Please share your pretty creations with me on social media with #apurifiedlife, I love seeing them.

Recipe was created for Oh My Drifter blog and photographed by the talented Micaela Hoo.  

Happy 4th of July!

x,

Giovanna

Captures of Yoga & Superfood Smoothies Workshop

What a wonderful weekend. We were so happy to share smoothies and knowledge with everyone at the Yoga & Superfood Smoothies Workshop on Saturday. There was some great Q & A and hopefully everyone is trying out their new recipes this week! We're grateful for Dave Ford's yoga practice, our amazing helper, Maddy Smith, the beautiful well-lit space (aMuse Art Gallery & Meeting Place) in the Mission, and everyone who brought their good energy. It was pretty cool to do yoga in an art gallery. Let us know if you'd like to see a similar event, we'd be happy to host if there's interest - contact Regina at reginafelice@apurifiedlife.com

xx

Captures of Valentine’s Day Chocolate Making Workshop

APLChocoWorkshopFeb144

There’s no such thing as getting your hands dirty when it comes to chocolate. But if there were, I guess you could say that’s how we spent our Valentine’s Day. At the Chocolate Making Workshop we made rose and fig truffles, chai spiced chocolate mousse, and dark chocolate bark. Everyone got to build their own dark chocolate bark with nuts, seeds, fruit, and superfood powders. There was a lot of love in the air (and in the chocolate) on Saturday! We’re grateful for everyone’s great energy and company.

APLChocoWorkshopFEb143
APLChocoWorkshopFEb143
APLChocoWorkshopFeb145
APLChocoWorkshopFeb145
APLChocoWorkshopFeb146
APLChocoWorkshopFeb146
APLChocoWorkshopFeb147
APLChocoWorkshopFeb147
APLChocoWorkshopFeb148
APLChocoWorkshopFeb148
APLChocoWorkshopFeb149
APLChocoWorkshopFeb149
APLChocoWorkshopFeb1410
APLChocoWorkshopFeb1410
APLChocoWorkshopFeb1411
APLChocoWorkshopFeb1411
APLChocoWOrkshopFeb1412
APLChocoWOrkshopFeb1412
APLChocoWorkshopFeb1413
APLChocoWorkshopFeb1413
APLChocoWorkshopFeb142
APLChocoWorkshopFeb142
APLChocoWorkshopFeb141
APLChocoWorkshopFeb141
APLChocoWorkshopFeb14
APLChocoWorkshopFeb14

Strawberry-Tahini Milkshake {dairy-free}

strwberry-tahini featured image

While I prepare pumpkin everything for my upcoming fall brunch club, I'm also still holding on to summer for as long as I can. When strawberry season was at it's peak, I loaded up on them every time I visited the farmers market and froze them so I could later use them for delicious recipes such as my simple strawberry-matcha sorbet and this milkshake/smoothie I'm about to share with you.

I just love using strawberries in my smoothies since they give it just enough sweetness and add anti-inflammatory and skin nourishing properties. Tahini also provides tons of health properties. It is made out of sesame seeds, which are an excellent source of copper, selenium, manganese, calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, and fiber. All these minerals are important for many functions of the body, but especially nourish the skin, bones, and aid with PMS. Tahini is also a great source of plant-based protein, which stabilizes blood sugar and will leave you feeling satisfied.

I hope you enjoy this taste of summer as we move into the chillier days. Perfect for breakfast, snack, or dessert.

strawberry-tahini smoothie 1

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups frozen strawberries

2 Tablespoons tahini

1 cup coconut milk (or any nut milk of choice)

1 teaspoon raw maca powder, optional

1/2 teaspoon ground vanilla bean

1 drop vanilla stevia (I use Omica Organics brand) or 1 teaspoon raw honey

Pinch of cinnamon

Pinch of sea salt

Procedure

  1. Blend all ingredients together until smooth.
  2. Top with toppings of choice: shredded coconut, bee pollen, sliced strawberries, cinnamon

Serves 1

Enjoy! x

 

 

 

Strawberry-Matcha Sorbet

strawberrymatcha_10

I used to love ice cream and sorbet growing up. It was my treat of choice (after chocolate, of course). I love being able to make my own now that is both delicious and good for me. Completely guilt free!

I created this recipe for the lovely Oh My Drifter, and she photographed it. Treat yourself to this simple and refreshing recipe. 

Ingredients

– 1 cup frozen strawberries
– 1 teaspoon matcha green tea powder
– 1-2 medjool dates
– 1/3 cup coconut water
– Juice of 1/2 lemon
– Pinch of sea salt

Procedure

1. Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. You might need to stop blender and use a spatula to push ingredients down from time to time (if using a Vitamix, just use the tamper to keep things moving).

2. Once smooth, place in the freezer for about 20 minutes to firm up, sprinkle on your favorite toppings (we used coconut flakes), then enjoy!

Enjoy!

Double Layer Chocolate Slice

Chocolate Slice featured image

Another day, another guilt-free chocolate creation. I was about to make some chocolate for an afternoon boost, and couldn't decide between a simple chocolate bar or raw brownies. Then I thought, I want both in one bite. So this happened. And it was heaven. Cacao has many health benefits. It is truly a superfood, but of course, when it's in its pure unrefined state and not when consumed in excess or with loads of refined sugar and dairy.

Pure unrefined (raw) cacao properties:

  • Rich in magnesium - essential nutrients for vitality
  • High in antioxidants - cancer and heart disease prevention
  • High in iron - provides oxygen to cells
  • High in chromium - balances blood sugar
  • Theobromine - lowers blood pressure, boosts energy
  • Dopamine - Neurotransmitter that boosts pleasure
  • Serotonin - Neurotransmitter that balances mood and fights stress
  • Tryptophan - an amino acid that is the most commonly deficient

So there you have it. Raw chocolate is simply good for you in right amounts. I'm going to be celebrating the weekend with this creation. I hope you do too.

Chocolate slice

Ingredients

Bottom layer:

20 medjool dates, pitted

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1/2 cup raw cacao powder

1 Tablespoon lemon juice

Pinch of celtic sea salt

Top layer:

1/2 cup melted coconut oil

1/2 cup raw cacao paste (or caca powder)

2 Tablespoons coconut nectar or raw honey

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch of sea salt

Procedure

Bottom layer:

  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until well combined and mixture holds together when pressed with fingers.
  2. Line a small dish with parchment paper and press mixture down to form layer. Make sure to use a dish where you will cover all the surface, I used a 5 x 7 dish.
  3. Place in the refrigerator while you prepare the top layer.

Top layer:

  1. Mix melted coconut oil and cacao paste (melt ahead) or cacao powder.
  2. Place in a bowl and whisk in remaining ingredients.
  3. Pour over bottom layer and place back in the refrigerator until set, about 20-30 minutes.
  4. Cut into slices to serve. Store in the refrigerator.

Makes 12 slices

 

Plum & Coconut-Maca Popsicles

Plum & coconut popsicles featured image

There is lots of plum and coconut going on in my house these days. It's stone fruit season here in California and plums are just too good to pass up at the farmers market every week. This is a very simple recipe and perfect for an afternoon craving on a hot day. You can substitute any stone fruit for plums. Peaches would also taste amazing.

Besides the great taste and vitamin benefits of plums, an added health benefit to this recipe is the maca powder. Maca is an adaptogenic root full of super powers. Adaptogenic means that it works to balance any system that is unstable/unbalanced in the body (nervous system, endocrine system, cardiovascular system, musculature). It also provides energy, enhances stamina and libido, increases endurance and strength, boosts mood, and balances hormones (aids with PMS). It has a nutty and delicious flavor. Make sure to purchase a raw and organic maca powder to get the full benefits and added chemicals.

Ingredients

Plum Layer:

3 fresh plums

1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean powder (or vanilla extract to taste)

Pinch of sea salt

Coconut-Maca Layer:

1 cup full-fat coconut milk (homemade or Native Forest Classic Coconut Milk - BPA free and organic)

1-2 Tablespoons coconut nectar, raw honey, or pure maple syrup (to taste)

1 Tablespoon raw maca powder

Pinch of sea salt

Plum & coconut popsicles

Procedure:

  1. Make plum layer: blend all ingredients until smooth. Pour into popsicle molds and place in freezer for 10-15 minutes for it to begin setting before you pour the next layer.
  2. Make coconut-maca layer: Blend all ingredients until smooth. Once plum layer has nearly set, pour coconut mixture over it to fill molds. Place in freezer for another 15 minutes.
  3. Insert popsicle sticks and return to freezer until fully frozen. To take out popsicles, run molds under cold water for about 10 seconds. Enjoy!

Makes 6 popsicles

For another delicious plum recipe, check out my previous treat: coconut-lavender pie with plum sauce.

Tell me, what's your favorite stone fruit?

Creamy Fig and Cacao Smoothie

Fig cacao smoothie featured image

Figs are in season here in California! Naturally, I created a creamy and decadent chocolate smoothie with fresh figs. The great nutrition components of fresh figs:

  • Fiber - supports bowel health, regulates blood sugar, lowers cholesterol, helps maintain a healthy weight
  • Vitamin B6 - brain health, detoxes the liver, aids in the metabolization of carbohydrates
  • Copper - builds strong bones and tissue, energy production, balances cholesterol levels,
  • Potassium - helps control blood pressure
  • Manganese - supports skin health, controls blood sugar, protects free-radical damage, aids in bone production

I don't have much else to say about this recipe other than encourage you to run to your farmers market to buy some fresh organic figs.

fig cacao smoothie

Ingredients

7-8 fresh figs

1 1/2 cups creamy coconut milk

1 cup water

2 heaping Tablespoons raw cacao powder

3 Tablespoon raw hemp seeds

2 teaspoons maca powder (optional)

1 teaspoon ashwagandha (optional)

1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

Pinch of celtic sea salt

Pinch of stevia

Splash of lemon juice

Procedure

  1. Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Enjoy in the sun.

Serves 2