Wrap your truffles in dreams…

These truffles ARE dreams and…you can eat them for breakfast!  These little numbers are packed full of protein, good fats, low-glycemic carbohydrates, and just a tiny touch of sweetness that will keep you satisfied for hours without a sugar crash.  This recipe is partly inspired by the delicious carob-almond butter squares I used to get at Whole Earth Center, a wonderful natural foods grocer in Princeton, New Jersey, when I lived in that area.  It is also partly inspired by the brief time I followed the raw diet and often made coconut haystacks from raw chef Matt Amsden’s book, RAWvolution.  Mmm.  Get creative with this recipe!  Perhaps add some slivered almonds, and a bit of fresh orange peel if you want to make these for a fancy dessert?  Dust these babies in a bit of smoked salt, chili, and cocoa powder?  Have fun!  Yum.

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Breakfast Truffles!

Makes 16 truffles – serves 4

Ingredients:  

–  1/4 cup cocoa powder

– 1/4 cup carob powder

– 1/4 cup peanut butter

– 1/4 sunflower butter

– 1/4 cup coconut oil

– 1/4 cup flax seed meal

– 2 tbsp water

– 1/4 cup honey or agave nectar

– 2 cups of rolled oats

– pinch of salt, or to taste

– cocoa powder, for dusting (optional)

Directions:

1)  In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients until well blended.

2)  Make each truffle by rolling two tablespoons of mixture into a ball.

3)  Optional:  In a small bowl with a bit of cocoa powder, roll truffles lightly until coated.

4)  Chill until firm.

5)  Enjoy!

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Auld Lang Pie

Hi friends!  I apologize for not posting any good eats for a few weeks.  ‘Twas finals week, but I guess all that hard work paid off:  4.0, yo!  And my wonderful boyfriend from Texas moved up to the Great Northern Yonder.  Anyway, I’m back and ready to lay it on thick with recipes.  Because I have time to read these days, reading of books of my choice, without deadlines, I have been reading all kinds of things.  As it’s harder for me to keep off weight now that I am not a construction worker any longer, sweating all the time in Texas, or biking nine hours a day, I thought it would be wise to read up on nutrition and keeping a healthy weight until I can get the heck back to Austin when I’m done getting learned up here in Montana.  I’m learning so much about the many minerals we humans need.  Magnesium, for one, is an extremely important mineral that of which about half of people don’t get enough.  This mineral is essential in over 300 cell reactions! (101 Recipes You Can’t Live Without from Prevention by Lori Powell)   Amazing.  I’m a pretty healthy eater (my carb-laden recipes on here do not reflect my very healthy diet) but there’s always room for improvement.  I suggest to all of you, that you get your vitamins and minerals in your food.  Don’t swallow them with a gulp of water.  Getting your nutrients from your food is the most absorbable and bioavailable form of everything you need to keep your body functioning and healthy.  Eating colorfully, seasonally, and with variety is a great way to ensure that you’re getting everything you need.  The following recipe should not be necessarily a staple of your diet, but a treat that is gluten free and contains some good nutrients.  Let’s talk about the star of this pie:  Chocolate!  

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Chocolate contains polyphenols, an antioxidant, in the form of flavonoids.  Flavonoids, have shown anti-cancer activity as well as help in stroke prevention as it reduces the blood’s ability to clot.  (Mayo Clinic)  Chocolate also contains some magnesium, iron, calcium, and potassium.  Almonds also are quite present in this recipe.  Almonds are rockstars when it comes to anticancer properties.  They are also full of protein, several B vitamins, calcium, iron, potassium, and are one of the best sources of vitamin E.  (The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia, Wood)  Secondly, flax has minor role in this recipe.  I mostly use flax seed as a staple when it comes to replacing eggs, which has its benefits.  Firstly, flax seeds are cholesterol-free and also contain “good fats,” in the form of omega-3 fatty acids.  Omega-3s are used for the prevention and treatment of coronary disease and may even serve to keep your brain young and help prevent Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.  (101 Recipes…, Powell) When I’m not eating the omega-3s from flax meal from this delicious pie, I make sure to sprinkle 2 tablespoons on my steel cut oats every morning and enjoy 2,400 mg of omega-3 (1,000 milligrams is the recommended daily amount), 3 grams of protein, 2% of your daily calcium, 4% of your iron, and a whopping 15% of the fiber you need for the day.  Another fatty acid in this pie is in the form of coconut oil, which I use for everything, and you should too.  Here’s why:  Although being high in saturated fat, it is over 50% medium-chain fatty acids.  This type of fat is never stored as fat but is instead metabolized by the body into the form of energy.  It also contains lauric acid, which helps improve brain and immune system function.  This pie also contains tofu which is full of calcium and iron, essential for bone and heart health, and keeps muscles functioning well and energy levels high, respectively.  So aside from the healthful new you, ring in the New Year with a rich and chocolatey (vegan and gluten-free) pie that’s a real crowd pleaser!  Happy New Year!!      

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Chocolate Dream Pie: 

Crust:

Ingredients  

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp agave or maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1/4 cup flaxseed meal + 3/4 cup water (combine and let sit for a few minutes)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup slivered almonds

Directions:

1)  Work coconut oil into almond flour until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  

2)  Add unsweetened coconut.

3)  Add flaxseed meal mixture and mix until well-combined.

4)  Add remaining ingredients and add slivered almonds last.  Knead until a wet dough forms.

5)  Pat pie crust into greased 9″ pie pan and bake in 350 degree F oven for 20 minutes or until lightly browned.  

Filling:  

Ingredients

  • 1 cup organic and fair trade dark chocolate chips
  • 1 16 oz package of silken tofu, beaten until smooth
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 of egg replacer (corn starch, flour, or flaxmeal can also be used but the texture may be slightly different) + 6 tbsp water, mixed and set aside for a few minutes
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla

Directions:

1)  In a double boiler (or because I don’t have a fancy double boiler, a large pot filled with a few inches of water with another pot on top, allowing some steam to escape), melt the chocolate chips.  

2)  Add melted chocolate chips to beaten silken tofu.

3)  Add cocoa powder until no lumps remain.

4)  Add remaining ingredients.  

5)  Add mixture to medium pot and cook over low heat until hot being VERY CAREFUL not to scorch mixture as this will ruin the pie.  

6)  Pour filling into crust and chill until firm.  

7)  ENJOY!  

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The [Cranberry] Apple [Crisp] of my Eye…now with sound!

Oh JOY! It’s the most glorious day of the year…a day revolving around feasting and a day where it is okay for me to cook all day and take my time and not feel like I’m playing whilst piles of graduate school work loom over me.  It’s…THANKSGIVING.  I am going to yet another Friendsgiving which marks the third year of me being away from my family during this holiday… 😦  I am grateful for dear friends who have taken me in every year and thrown the most delectable gatherings though.  This Thanksgiving, I will be feasting with friends from my graduate school department.  I will be bringing a whole slew of things, partly because I love to cook for others, and partly because there are more people here who are localvores and will most likely make local Yukon gold potatoes mashed and chock full of Lifeline Creamery milk and butter, than care about vegans…I’m sure they care, but there won’t be any vegan mashed potatoes!!  Ain’t no hard feelings!  Soo, I will be making some local Yukon gold potatoes mashed with Earth Balance and soy milk.  MMM.  I will also be making mushroom gravy, herbed lentil croquettes, a delicata squash boat (see previous post!), aaaand two cranberry apple crisps!  Did you know that New Jersey is the third leading cranberry producer in the US of A?  It’s true!  I’ve gotta represent up here!  This recipe makes two 9 inch pies.  The crust is a coconut shortbread crust with a hint of maple.  The apples are coated in lemon zest, honey, and cinnamon.  The topping is a classic crumb, buttery, nutty, salty/sweet, and full of oats!  I hope you, your family, and your friends have an absolutely wonderful Thanksgiving.  May your holiday not be fraught with unsavory political or social opinions and/or discriminatory remarks of any kind. Instead, may it be full of good food, love, kindness, and warmth.  There are so many things for which to be grateful!  Enjoy.

Also, listen to this cooking/entertaining soundtrack I’ve made filled with songs with food, party, or autumn themes, or song titles that at least could be interpreted as such.  The last song is the best… Listen here:  A Very Twigfood Thankgiving Playlist

Cranberry Apple Crisp:

Crust:

–  2 1/2 cups flour

– 1 cup coconut

–  1/2 cup Earth Balance

–  1/4 cup coconut oil

–  2 Tbsp flax meal + 6 Tbsp water (mix and let sit for a few minutes)

–  2 Tbsp maple syrup

Filling:

–  4 medium baking or tart variety apples, cored and thinly sliced

–  2 Tbsp honey

–  2 tsp cinnamon

–  zest of 2 lemons

–  1/2 c fresh cranberries

Crumb topping:

–  2 cups rolled oats

– 1/2 cup flour

– 1/2 cup chopped pecans

–  1/4 tsp salt

–  1/4 cup Earth Balance

–  1/4 cup brown sugar

–  1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Directions:

1)  In a large bowl, mix flour and coconut together.

2)  Add Earth Balance and coconut oil and use a pastry cutter (or your hands) and combine until mixture forms coarse crumbs.

3)  Add flax meal mixture and maple syrup and mix until just combined.  Knead mixture briefly and divide into two portions.

4)  Flatten evenly along the bottom and up the sides of two well greased and floured 9 inch pie pans.  Set aside.

For the filling:

1)  In a large bowl, add sliced apples and cranberries.

2)  Add honey and lemon zest and gently mix, to avoid tearing the thinly sliced apples, until combined.

3)  Arrange the apple slices in a spiral pattern (if you’re feeling particularly fancy) in the prepared pie crusts like so:

For the crumb topping:

1)  In a medium bowl, add oats, flour, pecans, salt, and brown sugar, and mix until combined.

2)  Add the Earth Balance, vanilla, and flax meal mixture and stir until crumbs form.  Top the filled apple filled pie crusts.

3)  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes, when the crumb topping and crust has slightly browned.

4)  Enjoy!