Sneaky Blood Orange Cacao Muffins

Because blood orange cacao muffins wouldn’t be good enough as it is that I had to make them sneaky. How? By adding a large cup of fresh kale to the mix. Seriously, if you didn’t see me baking these, you would have no idea that there was a healthy serving of greens in there. The kids were with me, so they saw, but it didn’t stop them from chowing down once they were out of the oven!

A a kid I did not like fruit in my chocolate. It was a flavor/texture thing. And I did not like nuts in my chocolate either. It was a waste-of-space thing. A big almond in my chocolate bar meant less chocolate. Ummm no thanks. My how times have changed!! I love chocolate so much I will eat it with almost anything. That is why it is so fun for me to come up with all kids of creations. Wether or not I am original in my pairings, it is still a fun process 🙂

I think blood oranges have a natural raspberry flare to them. Somewhat sweet, somewhat tangy. So last minute, once the batter was all ready to go into the muffin tins, I decided to accentuate that flavor by adding whole raspberries to the mix. A total win.

I won’t even lie and tell you that when my son didn’t feel like eating his salad for dinner, I justified not asking him to by saying “He had 3 muffins today, that’s a decent amount of greens.” Ha! Ninja parenting makes my life easier!

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Ingredients:

  • 3 cups flour ( I mixed garbanzo and buckwheat)
  • 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup cacao powder, depending on how chocolatey you like things
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seeds soaked in 1/2 cup water for 10-20 minutes
  • 1 cup blood orange juice
  • 1 TBS blood orange zest
  • 1/2 coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 TBS apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup chopped fresh kale
  • 1 cup raspberries, fresh or frozen then thawed

Steps:

  • Preheat oven to 325*F
  • grind flax seeds in coffee grinder if needed and soak in water
  • combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl
  • combine the rest of the ingredients minus the raspberries, in a blender
  • blend until the kale is well broken down
  • mix wet ingredients with dry ingredients
  • slowly fold in raspberries as to not have them break down too much
  • grease your muffin tins
  • bake for 10-12 minutes for mini muffins or probably around 18-20 minutes for regular size muffins
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Wilted Kale and Persimmon Salad

This is such a beautiful winter salad. All the flavors combine so beautifully together, that you barely need any dressing.

My good friend Samara made a version of this for me last week and it was so delicious I wanted to re-create it. Although I think it tasted better at her house, I am happy to be able to eat this at home as well. She had added some yam to the salad, which I think was a tasty choice, I just didn’t feel like eating yams this time around.

Winter salads are so comforting and make me so happy. Although I love this season with all the soups and stews, I really still love eating a nice salad.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 packed cup of chopped kale
  • 1 packed cup of spinach
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red cabbage
  • 1 hard fuyu persimmon, sliced
  • 2 large leeks, sliced and washed
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 TBS olive oil+ extra to drizzle on salad
  • drizzle of balsamic vinegar

Steps:

  • in a skillet, heat the oil and sautee the leeks
  • in the meantime, put the kale in a bowl and gently massage it with a tiny bit of olive oil and a dash of salt, this will wilt the kale and make it softer to eat.
  • add all the ingredients to a bowl and tops with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar

Fall Salad

After having a high raw diet for the past several months, I am slowly transitioning to more cooked foods. A really nice way to do that is to mix some sweet fall vegetables into my salads. I had leftover acorn squash so I went off of that. This salad was beautiful, nutritious, and delicious. I loved the combination of the tangy cranberries, with the sweet tangerine and earthy kale. The addition of the dip came as I was plating it and am very happy to have added the protein to this salad. It made it a complete meal.

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Ingredients:

  • 3 cups chopped lacinato kale
  • 1/4 of a cooked acorn squash cut into slices
  • 1 tangerine, sliced
  • 2 TBS dried cranberries
  • 2 TBS toasted pumkin seeds (raw seeds are great too, I just happened to have just made some that worked perfect for this salad)
  • a dollop of protein, anything you have on hand. Here I used white bean dip. But hummus could work great too.

Steps:

  • gently massage your kale with olive oil and salt to wilt it a little bit
  • put it on a plate and add all the other ingredients on top
  • drizzle a little bit of lemon juice and more oil if you like
  • enjoy!

It’s that time of the day (usually around 3-4pm) where I start to fade. Having some black tea or even a coffee sounds nice. The effects aren’t always beneficial (sometimes they are though, I will not dis tea or coffee as they are great at times in my life). I’ve noticed that sometimes having coffee to help stimulate me, will result in me crashing a little later, and I don’t like crashing 😦 So here I am, feeling tired and I still have to make it through a good portion of the day with the kids. I personally don’t like to “make it through” things, I rather try to feel good as much as possible. So instead of reaching for a quick caffein fix, if I have the time, I make a green juice, my version of an energy drink 🙂

This juice was particularly tasty and that is why I am sharing it with you. Before 3pm. In case that’s when you start crashing too 😉 I made this one yesterday around and it definitely perked me up enough to take all three kids to the playground and have a great playground workout.

I realize you have to be in proximity of a juicer to make this, but if you are not, you can make this juice in advance and bring it with you to work or where ever you may be and keep it in a cooler or fridge. The vitamin content will go down with every passing hour, (it’s best to drink your juices within 30 minutes of making them) but the satisfaction of drinking it will not. And if you don’t have a juicer, you can buy already made juices at most health food stores. I do not have a recommendation for which one is best as I do not usually buy them.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 1 whole lemon
  • 1 small cucumber
  • 4 large leaves of kale
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro (about 1 cup chopped)
  • 1 apple
  • 1 large chunk of ginger

Steps:

  • wash and cut everything to fit in juicer
  • Feed through juicer
  • poor in glass or mug (I used a mug here, because really what I wanted was a coffee 😉 )
  • Add a couple ice cubes for a nice chilled beverage
  • Drink and feel your body come alive!!