Luxurious Chocolate Chai Latte

Just as the title states, luxurious, hint of chocolate, creamy and decadent, this beverage is a weekend treat. After making my Black Tea Mocha a few months back, I knew I was on to something with replacing coffee for tea in all the specialty coffee drinks. I like coffee, but I prefer tea. My warm beverage drinking world has opened up even wider!

This is a perfect fall beverage. While I enjoy chai tea at any time of the year, I feel more drawn to it during the fall and winter months because of all the warming spices. And if you’ve been following me for a while now, you have surely caught on to what a chocoholic I am, so naturally finding ways to sneak that delicious superfood in where ever I can has become quite a skill πŸ˜‰

And lastly let’s not forget about what makes this drink so luscious: coconut butter. That’s right. I’ve been using coconut butter in drinks for a while now to add healthy fats and decadence. A winner every single time.

While I would love to say I get to enjoy this beverage quietly in a cozy chair while reading a book, the truth is, I generally have 3 minutes to myself before I have to brace the cup and raise it high above my head while I get jumped on by one of my children, or shoved off my seat by another or even just have the cup grabbed out of my hand because “Can I have some?”. In any case, how ever you get to enjoy this Latte, it is well worth it and will put a smile on your face πŸ™‚

FullSizeRender-108

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups steeped and strained chai tea (I buy mine in bulk and prefer the slightly spicy kind)
  • 1 cup almond milk (or any other milk), for this drink I used almond coconut milk that I had just made, and it was such a divine choice πŸ™‚
  • 1.5 TBS coconut butter OR 3TBS coconut cream (the rich stuff from a can)
  • 2-3 dates
  • 1-2 tsp cacao powder (Depending on how chocolatey you want it)

Steps:

  • Put everything in blender and blend on high until you get a little foam at the top
  • pour and enjoy!
Advertisements

Creamy Pumpkin Coconut Sauce

I love the fall for all the cooking/food making inspiration!!! It’s my favorite season when it comes to kitchen time πŸ™‚ My very first seasonal recipe was this Salted Caramel Chai tea infused concoction I made. The kids and I have been devouring that one with sliced apples, soooo tasty!!!

FullSizeRender-101

And now I am looking forward to all the pumpkin and squash recipes I will be coming up with and getting inspired by!! This was another semi-accident. It was late and I needed to get dinner ready fast. I had this leftover baked pumpkin and it only took a few moments for me to realize that the fastest way to eat that (other than straight out of the skin with a fork), was to throw it in the blender with a few other ingredients to create a soup. No wait! I’ll make it a sauce so we can have it over pasta πŸ™‚ And there it was, minutes later, our tasty family dinner.

FullSizeRender-99

I topped my bowl off with some homemade spicy seeds.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup fresh raw pumpkin seeds, not dried or cooked (I just keep the seeds after taking them out of the raw pumpkin)
  • 3/4 cup almond milk or coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup cooked pumpkin or squash
  • 1/4 cup coconut cream (from a can, organic toxic free if possible)
  • 1/4 tsp real salt
  • 2 TBS fresh parsley minced
  • 1/4 tsp dried sage

Steps:

  • if you dont have left over squash, then bake it in the oven for about 45 minutes
  • put first 3 ingredients in blender and blend on high until nice and smooth
  • add other ingredients and blend until the herbs are nicely incorporated but not fully blended
  • serve how ever you like!
  • we did it over zucchini pasta for a light yet satisfying dinner

FullSizeRender-100

Check out my other zucchini pasta recipes here:

With tomato sauce

With sesame peanut sauce

With rawlfredo sauce

Salted Caramel Infused with Chai Tea

Delicious caramel free of refined sugars, butter and health concerning ingredients? Ummm yes please! Creamy and sweet, with a hint of saltiness paired with the subtle chai tea flavors make this caramel sauce a winner in my sweet indulgences lately. Not only that, but it is (almost) raw, vegan and super quick to make!

I’ve had this caramel in some almond milk for a sweet drink, on top of homemade ice cream, with strawberries dipped in it, but mostly just out of the jar with a spoon.

This sauce was an accident. I had set out to make some chocolate creation. After putting the dates, mesquite and coconut oil in the blender, I realized that I was out of cacao powder (gasp!!!) How did I let that happen?? AND I was out of almond milk. I was sipping on some chai while I was making this, so I figured I would use that to get the blender going. After tasting it I quickly recovered form my chocolateless upset. It was delicious. Salt came to mind very quickly and in a matter of seconds the blender was going again to create this beautiful concoction that I have made a few times already.

While I am proud of my creation, I must admit, it’s hard to screw up when using such wholesome and delicious ingredients.

FullSizeRender-65

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup Coconut oil
  • 10 soft Medjool Dates (approx 1 cup)
  • 1 tsp mesquite
  • 1/4 tsp salt (more or less to taste)
  • 1/4 cup chai tea (more or less depending on the consistency you like)

Steps:

  • boil some water and pour over chai tea, let steep for 5 minutes and strain
  • add all ingredients to blender and blend on high until a nice and smooth texture is acheived
  • store in an airtight container int he fridge for at leaf a week (maybe more?)

Note: Depending on the ingredients and how things got mixed, the caramel may or may not harden while in the fridge. The first time I made it it got hard in the fridge but quickly soften when put in some warm water. The second time it kept it’s creamy texture but I needed to put it in some walt water to be able to pour it over ice cream. No matter the texture though, it will become liquid again when warm and it will always taste delicious πŸ™‚

Banana Carrot Muffins

Simple and delicious. Nutritious and filling, these are the perfect little muffin to put in my kids snack bag, or as a quick grab-and-go breakfast. We just had our first week of school here and you know what that means?? Muffin time!! I find muffins to be so convenient during the school year as I can pack them with all kinds of nutritious foods and they come conveniently shaped in a ball that fits in all my kids hands! Making them an ideal food. And whether I choose to make them savory or sweet, I usually find a way to sneak in some veggies in there.

For my little 2nd graders first week I decided to make these simple-in-flavor banana carrot muffins. I made a huge batch and froze about 2 dozen for an easy last minute snack in the weeks to come, ad still had enough to feed all my kids all week.

One big baking batch saves me time in the long run.

I hope you try these and enjoy them as much as we did!

FullSizeRender-53

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups flour (I mixed teff, rice and coconut)
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4tsp nutmeg, (I would’ve used cinnamon but ran out)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup packed shredded carrots
  • 1 cup packed mashed bananas
  • 3/4 maple syrup
  • 1 cup milk (I used almond
  • 3 TBS ground flax soaked in 6 TBS water (flax “egg”)

Steps:

  • preheat oven to 350*F
  • soak the flax seeds in water
  • In a large bowl combine the first 3 ingredients
  • in a blender combine all the other ingredients and blend just enough to mix everything together
  • combine dry and wet ingredients
  • grease some mini muffin tins with coconut oil and fill them up
  • bake for about 10 minutes for mini muffins, and about 18 minutes for larger muffins
  • let cool in the pan for about 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack

Creamy Tahini Dressing on summer salad

Creamy and slightly sweet, this sauce dresses any salad beautifully. I whipped this dressing up in less than 5 minutes and drizzled it all over one of favorite summer time salads. My good friend Christina had brought a similar salad to a camping trip last summer, and ever since, I mindfully choose the sweetest perfectly ripened organic peaches form the market so I can make a version of that salad.

For this lunch in particular I combined about 3-4 cups of greens (arugula and spinach), with a large handful of sliced red cabbage, a large peach, 1 very large avocado, 2 TBS pecans, 3 TBS minced dill. Everything organic, everything local.

The nice crunch from the cabbage, combined with the juicy peaches pair wonderfully with the mild bitterness of the arugula and rich creaminess of the avocado. Add to that the sweet tahini dressing and pungent dill, and you got yourself a party of the senses in your mouth!!

FullSizeRender-50

Ingredients for Tahini dressing:

  • 1 TBS tahini
  • 1 TBS lemon juice
  • 3 TBS olive oil
  • 1 tsp raw honey
  • dash of salt

Steps:

  • put everything in a bowl and whisk well until combined
  • I used up this whole batch for my one salad.
  • Make more to store for future use if necessary! I know I will!

FullSizeRender-49

Strawberry and Fig Compote

This fruit compote is packed with flavor and texture. After scoring a huge box of fresh figs, I already had a few recipes in my mind of what I was going to do with them. But this wasn’t one of them πŸ™‚ This idea came about when I had a bunch of strawberries that needed to be used up very soon. While I generally choose to eat my fruits raw, every now and then I enjoy cooking them to switch up the flavors a bit and also to bring something interesting to my kids. Cooking these fruits really brings out their sweetness and flavors.

IMG_4150-2

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups chopped fresh strawberries
  • 2 cups fresh chopped figs
  • 1 TBS balsamic vinegar
  • 1 TBS honey
  • dash of cinnamon

Steps:

  • Put everything in a saucepan
  • bring to a simmer then leave on very low heat with a lid on for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally
  • let it cool before putting into a jar and store in the fridge
  • use it how ever your imagination wishes!

This compote stays good at least a week in the fridge in an airtight container.

Not only is this compote delicious on it’s own, but it is so versatile also!

IMG_4145

Here I pan roasted peaches in light coconut oil and stuffed them with some fruit compote then drizzled it with chocolate sauce.

IMG_4154

And this one time my daughter wanted a banana split and we ended up making this with the compote and some almond butter.

FullSizeRender-48

Or this yummy basic chia bowl with fruit compote and homemade chocolate chunks.Β 

We’ve also used this compote on rice cakes, toast and sit reed in oatmeal.

As you can see, the possibilities are endless.

Whip yourself a batch and get creative with it! Stimulating my tastebuds is always an exciting experience πŸ™‚

Lemon Chia Pudding

This pudding is light, sweet and simple. Just a few ingredients away from a nice treat. I just scored a huge box a deliciously fresh figs so I topped this pudding off with them and it was a perfect edition, but I think any fruit will do πŸ™‚

FullSizeRender-42

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups milk (I used almond milk)
  • 2 soft medjool dates
  • 4 TBS chia seeds
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 4 figs for topping
  • drizzle of chocolate sauce for extra decadence

Steps:

  • put the milk and dates in a blender and blend on high until well incorporated
  • add chia seeds and lemon zest and blend on low just enough to mix the chia seeds but not too much as to break them down, you can also do this by hand
  • IMPORTANT: let sit for a few minutes and blend on low for a couple seconds, do this a few times. You’ll start seeing the chia seeds floating around in the milk and staying there, that’s what you want. If you skip this step you will end up with a pile of chia seeds at the bottom of your dish and the milk on top.
  • pour in desired cups or bowls and put in fridge to set for at least 2 hours, or overnight is great too
  • top it off with fruit and chocolate sauce if desired

Pistachio Cherry Chocolate Crunch Grawnola

The gentle nuttiness of the pistachio paired with the sweet tartness of the cherries are a perfect combination to the deep richness of the chocolate. The olive oil is a nice touch to add healthy fats without changing too much the previous flavors. While I generally use coconut oil in my grawnolas I wanted to switch it up as I truly do love the taste of a nice olive oil. And for this kind of recipe I really believe one should use high quality organic olive oil. This is my first time making this granola and I can say with confidence that it won’t be the last! Since all of these ingredients are not necessarily seasonal like my butternut granolaΒ or my orange cranberry one, I can make and enjoy this granola all year round! This is taking a high spot in my top favorites πŸ™‚ FullSizeRender-37 Ingredients:

  • 5 cups sprouted buckwheatΒ or soaked for at least 8 hours and rinsed really well
  • 1 cup small oats
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 cup organic olive oil (high quality is best here!)
  • 1 cup dried cherries (no sugar added)
  • 1 cup raw pistachios
  • 1 cup quinoa crispies (omit this if you want a truly raw granola, you can add buckwheat groats or oats if you like)
  • 3/4 cups homemade chocolate chunks or chocolate chips

Steps:

  • mix first 3 ingredients in a large bowl until well combined
  • add following 3 ingredients to a food processor and pule until the cherries and pistachios are broken down a bit but not fully blended
  • combine all ingredients except chocolate and mix well adding the crisps last
  • put on a dehydrator sheet and dehydrate for about 10-12 hours at 105*F
  • add the chocolate once the granola is done and mix well
  • enjoy with milk of your choice, mine is often home made fresh almond milk
  • store in airtight glass containers for weeks!

Bread and Butter (Raw,vegan,delicious)

This raw bread is one of many variations that I make and it never fails to make me so happy every time I pull a batch out of my dehydrator. It is soft and moist just like sliced bread but it doesn’t leave me feeling too full or sluggish like I can sometimes get when eating bread. Not only that, but it is packed with nutrients making this bread and and butter breakfast not just something to fill up my belly but something to nourish and fuel me for several hours in my day!

The vegan butter is a twist on my childhood favorite. I grew up eating vegan butter that my family would make. I actually preferred eating that over butter, even though I grew up in the country in France where the butter we got was freshly made in our neighbors barn. Don’t get me wrong, that butter still tasted amazing to me, but on a regular basis, I preferred lathering my bread with the vegan homemade stuff. I remember my family using vegetable margarine, which I am not a fan of so I replaced it with coconut oil, which adds a really great flavor in my opinion. But if you are not a coconut fan, you can replace the coconut oil with another vegan oil or butter of your choice.

This butter if full of healthy fats, super easy to make, and lasts a really long time in the fridge!!! Several months I would say. But I usually make a small batch so that we go through it in several weeks.

Top it off with some homemade jellyΒ or fruit spreadΒ and have a happy belly!!

FullSizeRender-34

The bread is a variation of this bread. I did not put coconut this time and used brown flax seeds instead to the golden. It was equally delicious.

Vegan Butter Recipe (raw):

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup nut butter (I mixed almond and hazelnut)
  • use all raw ingredients if you want to keep this recipe all raw, but I have to admit I prefer the flavor of toasted nut butters

Steps:

  • in a double boiler (or a glass dish over a boiling pot) melt all ingredients together
  • store in a jar or ramekin in the fridge
  • use just as you would any other butter!

FullSizeRender-35

Strawberry Grawnola

Nice and crunchy, light and flavorful, what better way to satisfy a sweet craving than with a bowl of home made (almost raw) granola? In all honesty I can find (and have found!) dozens of others ways to satisfy a sweet craving very satisfactorily but this a great way as well. Thanks to the sprouted buckwheat base, this granola is filling without making you feel heavy, gives you loads of energy without any nasty sugar crash and fuels you with beneficial vitamins and minerals thanks to all the beautiful ingredients.

I used lucuma powder, which is a fruit, and has a significant amount of potassium, calcium (good for strong bones and teeth) and phosphorus (important for bone and protein formation as well as proper digestion and hormone balancing). It also has a good amount of protein (4 grams per serving) as well as fiber.

The coconut provides you with a nice dose of healthy fats. Pair this with a cup of some freshly made almond milk and you got yourself a wholesome, nutritious, delicious meal!

Thanks to the strawberries, the kids love this one, and we have been eating it on homemade raw yogurt, with milk and sometimes just straight out of the jar.

IMG_3307

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups buckwheat, either sprouted, or soaked at least 8 hours then rinsed really well.
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 cup coconut slices
  • 3 TBS lucuma powder (optional but it gives a nice flavor while adding a lot of beneficial vitamins and minerals)
  • 1/2 cup powdered freeze dried strawberries (I powdered them in my blender), plus another 1/2 cup in pieces
  • 1/4 cup + 2TBS coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 cup quinoa crispies (not raw)(this is like puffed rice but with quinoa)
  • 1/2cup water

Steps:

  • mix everything in a large bowl
  • lay on a dehydrator sheet and dehydrate at 105*F for about 12 hours or until fully dried and crispy
  • store in an airtight container for weeks! Or if it’s like at my house, this will only last several days….

No dehydrator? No problem! Just put it in the oven on the lowest setting and check it after 45 minutes, toss it and leave it for a while longer until it is fully crispy. I estimate it taking about 1.5 hours.

IMG_3311