natural sweeteners

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. 

 

Superfood Hot Chocolate

superfoodhotchocolate featured image

Every year I come home to visit for the holidays with a new favorite drink or food that I'm eager to share with my family. This year, I've been on a hot chocolate kick for about a month now, and it's been a healing and delicious journey. This has been the morning drink of choice at my house for the past few days, and I encourage you to give it a try if you're looking for a cozy nourishing start to your day. Especially around the stressful holiday season, starting with a warm pre-digested drink like this will sooth the digestive system instead of causing more stress first thing in the morning. You'll feel lighter and more energized.

Ingredients

2 cups herbal tea -Any herbal tea of choice works.I use a loose leaf mixture of dandelion root, holy basil, gynostemma, and chaga mushroom. (I order my herbs online from Mountain Rose Herbs)

2 Tablespoons hemp seeds

1 Tablespoon raw cacao powder

1 Tablespoon coconut oil

1 teaspoon raw honey

1 teaspoon raw maca powder - Boosts energy, balances mood, influences stamina, and aids sexual function

1/4-1/2 teaspoon ashwagandha powder - An adaptogenic herb that helps the body deal with stress, strengthens the immune system, and boosts energy. 

1/4 teaspoon he shou wu - Strengthens the immune system, supports adrenals, calms the nervous system, and maintains youthful condition and color of hair. 

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

1-2 drops of vanilla stevia (Omica Organics)

Pinch of sea salt

Pinch of cayenne pepper

superfoodhotchocolate
superfoodhotchocolate

Procedure

  1. Place hot tea and remaining ingredients in a blender and blend until creamy and frothy.

Note: This drink is not by all means limited to these ingredients only. My hot chocolate is never the same. I like to switch off using different superfoods depending on how I feel that day. Play around with what calls you. Other ingredients I often use: mucuna, shilajit, lucuma, stevia, dates instead of honey, tahini, cinnamon, medicinal mushroom powders (reishi, cordyceps, turkey tail, shiitake, etc.), and Everlasting Vitality & Youth.

Let me know what ingredients you try and how your specialty superfood hot chocolate turns out.

Enjoy & Happy Holidays!

x, Giovanna

Strawberry-Matcha Sorbet

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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!

Vegan Chocolate-Coconut Ice Cream

Choc coconut ice cream feature image

It's not summer yet, but I'm already craving (and testing) all the amazing treats I want to create on those sunny days to come. My first test was this delicious and ridiculously simple chocolate-coconut ice cream. I always thought of ice cream as something that was impossible to make at home. Even using an ice cream maker seemed like a lot of work for me, and I never felt the need to try to make it at home since ice cream is not usually my go-to treat. Then I visited Bi-Rite Creamery in San Francisco and had their chocolate vegan ice cream and life was different. That ice cream is always worth the 30 minute wait. Since trying Bi-Rite Creamery, I knew I had to come up with my own healthy version to avoid indulging again. And that I did.

I still don't have an ice cream maker, but that is not necessary for this recipe. Making vegan ice cream turned out to be very easy. All I used was a blender and a glass container to freeze the ice cream in. The best part is that I only used 4 ingredients and the ice cream is gluten-free, dairy-free, and refined sugar-free. It couldn't be better if you ask me. It's a perfect guilt-free treat or snack for adults and kids.

Please try this recipe and share below how yours turned out. Feel free to substitute pistachios with any type of nut.

Choc coconut ice cream

Ingredients

1 can coconut milk (make sure to use full-fat, otherwise, ice cream won't be creamy)

3 Tablespoons raw cacao powder

1/4 cup coconut nectar or raw honey

1/4 cup chopped pistachios

pinch of sea salt

Procedure

  1. Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Pour in glass container or dish and place in freezer for 6-8 hours, until completely firm.
  3. Serve scoops using ice cream scooper (or eat straight from container, which I may or may not have done)

Enjoy!