Showing posts with label natural sweeteners. Show all posts
Showing posts with label natural sweeteners. Show all posts

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Recipe: Chai Pistachio Granola

I can't get enough of this granola. Swati was inspired to create a batch after we both discovered an upstate New York bakery, Bread Alone, that makes a highly addictive granola by the same name.

I am beginning to think my wife has a future career in food science. She did an amazing job at re-creating this product, even going a step further with the addition of Indian chai spice (a blend of ground cardamom, ginger, cloves, cinnamon). Now you must try it!

Makes about 12-15 servings

3 cups rolled oats
1 cup raw pistachios, shelled
1/2 cup raw almonds, chopped
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1 cup dried coconut
5/8 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp Indian chai spice (or ground cardamom)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 cup dried apricots, chopped

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Combine oats, nuts, seeds, coconut, maple syrup, olive oil, brown sugar, salt and spices. Spread mixture on a rimmed baking sheet in an even layer and bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes until golden brown and well toasted. Remove from oven.

Transfer granola to a large bowl and add apricots, tossing to combine.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Recipe: Raw Chocolate Avocado Pudding

The secret is out! Yes, this delicious, rich chocolate pudding was made with avocados!

Swati and I shared this Valentine's friendly recipe with our friends Joan and Adam on Sunday. After many guesses over the secret ingredient (bananas being the closest) they were shocked to learn this pudding was made from the very same fruit used in guacamole. Did I also mention it is dairy free?

Truth is the avocado is a great substitute for dairy, providing the fat and rich smooth flavor you'd expect from a chocolate pudding recipe. It's also a pretty neutral tasting fruit that easily takes on the flavors of other ingredients.
 
You'll also find no sugar in this recipe - it's sweetened using dates and maple syrup. And yes, it can all be made rather effortlessly in a food processor. No cooking required.

Okay, enough talk already. Show me the chocolate.

Serves 6

1/2 cup pitted mejdool dates, soaked
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 ripe avocados
1/2 cup plus 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1/2 cup water

Place the dates, maple syrup, and vanilla in a food processor and process until smooth. Add the avocados and cocoa powder and process until creamy. Stop occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Add the water and process briefly. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

The pudding will keep for up to three days in the refrigerator. Enjoy!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Recipe: Honey candied pecans

honey roasted pecansAfter a visit to Trader Joes last week I became inspired to make my own candy coated pecans. I've always loved the stuff in salads, especially around the holidays.

Only problem was I wasn't into the sugar content in the pre-made ones. So I decided that I would try to make my own.

I was planning to use agave, but on Saturday morning I woke up with a scratchy throat. And I can't think of a better food to eat in that situation than honey. So I pulled out my favorite raw honey and got to work.

I simply mixed together some pecans with honey and coconut oil. Then placed them in the toaster oven for 8 minutes. And voila! I had freshly candied pecans. I put them on a plate with some cut up apple, and a few minutes later they were all gone. And guess what, my achy throat was gone too!

Honey is known for having antibacterial properties. Especially when eaten in its raw, unprocessed state. I swear buy the stuff made by Y.S. Organic Bee Farms. They make a high quality product that I am sure you will love.

Here's the recipe to make some for yourself:

1/2 cup pecans (halves or whole)
1 teaspoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon raw honey

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a bowl mix all ingredients together. Place coated nuts on a toaster oven tray or baking sheet. Bake for 8 minutes. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Recipe: Coconut milk rice pudding

kheerAs a boy who grew up on my mother's kheer, I was very proud of myself for coming up with a healthier take of this classic Indian recipe. My version is dairy-free, gluten-free, uses whole grains, and has no refined sugar.

I was inspired to make this recipe, based on the leftover grains I had been collecting in my refrigerator. I made this one with both rice and quinoa. Feel free to use just one or both. Either way you can't go wrong!

The coconut milk gives it a creamy flavor. The cardamom, cinnamon and cloves add an Indian aroma. And the agave nectar works great in place of sugar.

Did I mention it only takes 15 minutes to make?

Serves 4-6

8 oz coconut milk (1/2 can)
1 cup unsweetened soy milk
2 cups cooked grains (brown rice or quinoa)
1/4 cup agave nectar (or more or less depending on taste)
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
1/4 tsp ground cloves (optional)
1 tsp vanilla extract
raisins (optional)
pistachios, toasted and chopped (optional)

Heat the coconut and soy milk in a heavy sauce pot over medium heat, until it comes to a simmer. Add sweetener and thicken until dissolved. Add the precooked rice, spices and heat through.

Simmer until it thickens, but don't let it become too dry.

healthy rice puddingRemove pot from heat. Stir in vanilla. Add raisins and pistachios if desired. Serve either warm or cold.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Recipe: Zucchini nut bread

I've officially designated the last week of August 'Zuchinni Week!' It seems I've been inspired with the ingredient this week. Or perhaps it is just cause I've got so much!

This recipe was inspired by another great blog Au Naturel. I love it cause it uses a combination of almond and chickpea flour (yes, gluten-free!). And instead of sugar uses agave nectar, which is a milder, natural sweetener made from the agave cactus (the same plant tequila comes from). Very moist. Very delicious. I am sure you will enjoy!

Makes 1 loaf

1 1/2 cup zucchini (1 medium zucchini grated)
3/4 cup chickpea flour, sifted
3/4 cup almond meal
1 1/2 eggs
1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup agave nectar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp masala powder (or ground cloves, nutmeg, cardamom)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1/4 cup raisins (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a loaf pan with butter.

Grate zucchini using food processor or box grater. Press grated zucchini with paper towel to absorb excess moisture.

Combine all dry ingredients in bowl (i.e. chickpea flour, almond meal, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, masala powder). Be sure to pass chickpea flour in sifter.

In large bowl, beat butter and eggs until creamy. Continue to blend while adding agave nectar and vanilla extract. Fold in grated zucchini.

Add 1/3 of dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Stir to combine. Add remaining mixture. Mix well, make sure no dry clumps remaining. Add walnuts and/or raisins if desired.

Pour batter in loaf pan. Bake 40 minutes in oven. Immediately remove loaf and let cool. Note: cake will appear partially uncooked. That is okay...this is a moist cake! Continuing to cook will make this too dry.

Integrative Nutrition