recipes

Coconut Cream Hot Chocolate

While cozy in one night this week, I had a craving for hot chocolate. Since I cut out refined sugars, and dairy, I decided to see what I could come up with based on what ingredients I had readily available.

This recipe is creamy, delicious, and might I say decadent! I added in a few substitutions depending on what you have at your disposal in your own kitchen.

Step 1: Make a chocolate paste, mixing together:

  • 1/2 tsp. softened ghee butter (or coconut oil)

  • 1/2 tsp. organic cocoa powder (or raw cacao powder)

  • 1/4 tsp. Lakanto Monkfruit Sweetener (or maple syryp or honey)

Step 2: Heat 1 cup of Silk Coconut Cream for Coffee

Step 3: Stir in chocolate paste.

For added decadence, froth the mixture so it’s nice and creamy. Sprinkle with cinnamon, cardamom, or some of the Lakanto sweetener for a little sparkle.

Hope you enjoy!

With love,

xo SJ

Smells Like Christmas Simmer Pot

I pride myself on maintaining a non-toxic home.  This includes using eco-friendly cleaners free of harsh chemicals, and burning beeswax candles exclusively. With the arrival of holidays, I decided to create my own version of  a Christmas scented candle with this Simmer Pot recipe.

In a pot, mix together the following ingredients, bring to a boil, then simmer.  As the mixture evaporates, you can continue to add water and new orange peels, as the scents from this mixture will last up to 2 days. Leave the pot uncovered.

Smells Like Christmas
4 cups of water
1 cup of clementine or orange peels
2 Tbsp of ground cinnamon
1 tsp of vanilla
1 tsp of nutmeg
1 tsp of ground or whole clove
1/2 tsp of ginger or star anise

Enjoy! With love,

xo SJ

Peanut Butter Cups

OMG! Can you say Reese's Peanut Butter Cups?! I can confidently say that this recipe will satisfy every future craving I might have for the store bought version, stripped down to the essentials, and without all the refined sugar.

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup raw cacao powder

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil

  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

  • 1/3 cup organic peanut butter (smooth works best)

You will need: a muffin tin, and muffin wrappers

Instructions

  1. In a small pot on very low heat, combine raw cacao, coconut oil and maple syrup and melt. Stir constantly so the chocolate doesn't burn.

  2. Prepare your muffin tin, lining it with 8 small muffin wrappers.

  3. Pour half of the chocolate mixture in the muffin wrappers divided. Place in freezer for 20-25 minutes until near frozen. Save the other half of the chocolate mixture for your last layer.

  4. Warm the peanut butter on stove top on low heat. Pour it on top of the first layer of chocolate.

  5. Place the cups back in the freezer for another 20 minutes or so to allow the peanut butter to solidify.

  6. Warm the remaining half of the chocolate mixture again, and pour on top of the first 2 layers. Place in the freezer for another few hours, until totally frozen.

Enjoy!

xo SJ

 

Notes:

This recipe was modified from Joyous Health

Here is her informative guide on Health Benefits of Raw Cacao vs Cocoa Powder.

Golden Goddess Turmeric Milk

Turmeric is well-known for it's anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and immune-boosting properties. In Ayurveda, it is known as the "Golden Goddess" of herbs as it promotes digestion, purifies the blood, detoxifies the liver, and nourishes the heart. 

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of unsweetened almond milk (or substitute coconut or cashew milk)

  • 1 teaspoon of ghee (or substitue with coconut oil)

  • 1 teaspoon dried turmeric (or one-half inch fresh turmeric thinly sliced or diced)

  • 1 teaspoon dried ginger (or one-half inch fresh ginger thinly sliced or diced)

  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

  • 3 whole cardamom pods

  • Raw honey to taste

Instructions

  1. Place almond milk in a saucepan over medium heat.

  2. Add ghee, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon and cardamom pods.

  3. Stir well if you are using dried spices.

  4. Allow to heat for another minute or two being careful not to let the milk overheat. Continue to stir.

  5. Turn off heat, cover, and allow the mixture to sit for about ten minutes to infuse the milk more fully. Strain the milk through a strainer if you used any fresh ingredients.

  6. Sprinkle with cinnamon, and serve warm.

Notes

  • If you are making this at bedtime, skip the ginger.

  • I have chosen to make this recipe dairy-free, but if you choose to make it with cow's milk, I would recommend using organic milk.

  • I recommend always using raw, unpasteurized honey

Enjoy!

xo SJ

Homemade Ghee

Ghee is a form of clarified butter commonly used in ayurvedic cooking. It is known as a medicinal, nourishing oil that promotes vitality and good health.  I went from using butter to using ghee exclusively because not only does tastes better, it promotes and supports a body in balance in so many different ways.

Click here for more information on the nutritional and healing properties of ghee, from an ayurvedic perspective.

You will need:

  • 2 small blocks of organic, unsalted butter

  • 1 16oz. (1 pint) wide-mouth mason jar

  • Spouted bowl

  • Wire mesh strainer

  • Cheesecloth

I like making small batches of ghee, and 2 blocks of butter fills a pint-sized mason jar perfectly.

  1. Cut the butter into cubes and place in the saucepan.

  2. Heat the butter over medium heat until completely melted. Reduce to a simmer.

  3. Cook for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. The butter will go through several stages. As seen in the pictures below, it will foam, then bubble, clarify, and then foam again.

  4. At this point, the melted butter should be bright gold in color and there should be reddish brown pieces of milk solids at the bottom of the pan.

  5. Hold a glass above the ghee to check for condensation. Continue to cook the ghee until the glass is clear of condensation (if there is any condensation left in the butter it will be at a higher risk for mold during storage).

  6. Line the wire mesh strainer with several layers of cheesecloth and place it over the spouted bowl.

  7. Let the ghee cool slightly for 2-3 minutes and then slowly pour through the wire mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth. Discard the bits of milk protein and cheesecloth.

  8. Transfer the ghee from the bowl to the mason jar.

  9. Let the ghee cool completely before placing the lid on the mason jar.

  10. Ghee will last for months at room temperature and even longer in the fridge. I store mine on the counter at room temperature, so it's ready to spread easily.

Enjoy!

xo SJ

Banana Pancakes

It's Sunday, so that usually means making space in my schedule to do some cooking.  Today, I had a craving for banana pancakes (wheat free) so I whipped up this recipe and they turned out really well.

Makes 2 servings

  • 1 banana
  • 1/4 cup of raspberries
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tbsp of ground chia
  • 1 tbsp of flax meal
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • Ghee butter
  • Maple syrup

In a bowl, mash together the banana and raspberries. Mix in the ground chia, flax meal and cinnamon. Add the eggs and mix until smooth.

Heat up the frying pan over medium high heat and lightly oil with ghee butter. Pour or scoop the batter onto the pan, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot with maple syrup.

Enjoy,

xo SJ

Date & Almond Power Bars

The Larabar is one of my fave go-to snacks for my "in-betweens" whether it be from work to the gym, or my saviour from getting "hangry" before dinner. Since I started making my own energy bars, I've had a lot of fun experimenting with different combinations of ingredients while maintaining the same simple two-ingredient base: date paste and ground up almonds.  The possibilities are endless! I never use a recipe for these. My tendency is to wing it with what I have readily available, and go by consistency and taste.

My latest creation was inspired by the ingredients found in Nature's Path Qi'a Chia Buckwheat and Hemp Cranberry Vanilla cereal.

  • 1 - 500g package of date paste

  • 2 cups of ground almonds

  • 1/2 cup of SJ's homemade power mix: equal parts ground chia seed, flax meal and hemp hearts

  • 3/4 cup of local dried cranberries

  • Coconut oil

  • Cocoa

  • Raw honey

  • 9 x 12 baking dish

Instructions:

  • Grind up the almonds in a food processor, and lightly toast in the oven. Set aside to cool. In the meantime, grease baking dish with coconut oil.

  • In a bowl, combine date paste, toasted almonds, and chia/hemp seed/flax mixture.

  • In greased baking dish, press mixture into a smooth even layer.

  • For "chocolate" topping: Melt a few tablespoons of coconut oil, and mix in a few tablespoons of cocoa. Add a little bit of raw honey for desired sweetness before pouring over top of the date mixture. Depending on what I have in my cupboard, I may substitute with maple syrup, or not use any sweetener at all.

  • Transfer to the fridge, and chill for a few hours, and slice into bars before serving.

  • Wrap individual bars. Can be stored in the freezer.

Enjoy!

xo SJ