Sunday, May 2, 2010

Carob Power Bars

As you may have noticed by reading my recipes I am really fond of carob. Not only does it taste great but it has many health benefits as well. It's very high in fiber and more importantly has about half the calories of chocolate! It's also sweeter than chocolate so you need a lot less sweetener when baking with it.

I made these bars for something to eat in the afternoon around 4pm, when I am always starved for something sweet.

4 tablespoons of coconut oil
2 cups of carob chips
1/4 cup of palm sugar
2 tablespoons of almond milk (unsweetened)
1/2 cup of grated coconut (unsweetened)
1/2 cup of nuts (I used almonds)
1-1/2 cups of oatmeal

Combine the coconut oil, carob chips, palm sugar and almond milk in a double boiler over low heat. Once everything has completely melted remove from the heat and add the coconut, nuts and oatmeal and combine thoroughly.

Press into a lightly greased 8x8 pan, cover with saran wrap and refrigerate for about an hour. Once the mixture feels firm, cut into bars.

Makes about 20 small bars.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Baked Garlic and Olive Oil Pita Chips

It's nearly impossible for me to eat a sandwich without chips. I would like to say that I always make my own chips but it only happens once in a while. When I do make them myself, this is my favorite recipe. I use the Joseph’s low carb pitas (only 60 calories per pita) and brush them with an olive oil mixture. They are very good!

Joseph’s low carb pitas
1/4 cup of olive oil
1 teaspoon of minced garlic
1 tablespoon of parmesan cheese
a generous sprinkle of dried basil

Mix all the ingredients together, using a pastry brush, brush the mixture on the front and back of the pitas. Cut pita into triangles, bake at 400 degrees for about 5-7 minutes. These pitas are thin so keep checking them to make sure they don’t burn.

Carob Fudge

I love fudge, especially when it's filled with walnuts and cashew butter! I found this recipe on diet, dessert and dogs and decided to give it a try. I made a few changes so if you want the original click here.

3/4 cup unsweetened carob chips
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1/4 cup natural smooth cashew butter
1/8 tsp fine sea salt
2 Tbsp agave syrup
10-20 drops plain, vanilla, or chocolate stevia liquid, depending on the brand and your desired sweetness level
1 tsp pure vanilla extract or vanilla paste
1/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
Lightly grease a 6 inch (15 cm) loaf pan, or line with plastic wrap.

In a large glass or metal bowl set over a smaller pot of simmering water (the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water), stir the carob chips and coconut oil, until melted and completely smooth. Add the cashew nut butter and salt and stir again until combined. Remove from the heat. Add the agave syrup, stevia, vanilla and nuts and stir well.

Turn the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Chill until set, about an hour; then cover with more plastic wrap and chill until very firm, 2 hours to overnight. Turn out onto a cutting board, peel away the plastic wrap, and cut into small squares. Makes 12-20 pieces.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Coconut Carob Cookies

This is a delicious cookie recipe, (sorry the photo is not great) that I've been making for a few years now. There are many substitutions you can make to this recipe. If you don't like carob just use unsweetened cocoa.

2 cups of oatmeal or oat flour
1/3 cup of coconut oil
1/3 cup of agava nectar
½ cup of unsweetened applesauce
2 tablespoons of flaxseed + 6 tablespoons of water (this is a substitute for eggs and adds omega 3’s to them, but you could use eggs instead, it would be 2 eggs)
1-½ teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of vanilla
5 tablespoons of carob powder
1/3 cup of carob chips
1/3 cup of shredded unsweetened coconut
1/3 cup of walnuts or pecans chopped

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a small bowl mix the flaxseed and water and let sit for at least 2 minutes.

If using oatmeal, use a food processor or blender to grind the 2 cups of oatmeal to make a fine powder, set aside. (If using oat flour skip this step)

With an electric mixer, blend together the coconut oil, agave and vanilla. Add flaxseed and water and continue blending.

Slowly add oat flour, baking powder, salt and carob powder until mixture is well blended.

Fold in the carob chips, unsweetened coconut shreds and nuts.

On a pre greased cookie sheet, spoon out the cookie dough into ½ balls, cook at 325 degrees for 12 – 15 minutes.

Makes approximately 24 servings.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart

I love peanut butter and chocolate together so when I found this recipe on Elana's pantry I knew I had to try it. I altered the recipe and used carob instead of chocolate and agave instead of yacon syrup, which is what the recipe calls for. It was so good. My alterations are in parentheses.

Ingredients for crust:
1 ½ cups peanuts, roasted
¼ teaspoon celtic sea salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
2 tablespoons yacon syrup (I used agave)

Grind the peanuts in a food processor to a fine meal (make a crunchy meal for a crunchier crust). Pulse in the salt and baking soda. Pulse in the grapeseed oil and yacon syrup and continue pulsing until the dough is formed. Remove dough from food processor and press into a 9 inch tart pan. Bake at 350° for 8 minutes, until fragrant and golden brown. Cool, then fill shell with chocolate pudding.

Ingredients for pudding:
1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk, not lite
1 pinch celtic sea salt
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
1 tablespoon agave nectar
3 tablespoons yacon syrup (I just used a total of 4 tablespoons of agave nectar)
5 drops stevia (I used chocolate flavored)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup dark chocolate 73% (I used one cup of carob chips)
shredded coconut for topping

In a saucepan, heat coconut milk and salt over medium heat. Raise heat and sift the arrowroot powder into the pot, then whisk vigorously by hand or with a hand blender until thick. Whisk in agave, carob, stevia and vanilla. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes; add chocolate, stirring vigorously until melted. Chill for 10 minutes, then pour into cooled pie crust. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours, until firm, top with shredded coconut.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Carob Banana Ice Cream

I have been on a search for a simple, wholesome ice cream recipe, that didn't require an ice cream maker. I found another great recipe from the book, Sugar-Free Gluten-Free Baking and Desserts by Kelly Keough, for a carob ice cream. It came out very nice! You just can’t go into it thinking it’s going to taste just like real ice cream. It’s nuttier tasting and you definitely taste the carob. But it's got a nice banana, chocolate flavor, and my daughter loves it! It calls for frozen bananas, but I could see this working with frozen raspberries, strawberries or even peaches. Please let me know if you try it with another fruit.

2 ripe bananas, frozen
1/2 cup, plus 2 tablespoons of unsweetened almond milk
1 dropper liquid stevia, vanilla créme
1 dropper liquid stevia, chcolate
1/4 cup roasted carob powder
1/4 cup raw almonds
2 tablespoons of agave
1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 tablespoon of raw cacao nibs, for topping (I don't add these)

The night before, peel 2 bananas. Cut each one into fourths and wrap in a sheet of foil. Freeze bananas overnight.

Unwrap and place frozen bananas in food processor add liquid stevias, roasted, carob, almonds, agave, and cinnamon and blend. Slowly add in the almond milk.

Purée for about one minute until batter is creamy and smooth, like soft-serve ice cream. Top with raw cacao nibs.

I put mine in an ice cube tray and put popsicle sticks in the center and made popsicles out of them.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Coconut Cupcakes with Coconut Frosting

I was really intrigued by this coconut frosting recipe from Elana's Pantry, so I wanted to try it for Easter. I was a little nervous since some of the reviewers had trouble getting the frosting fluffy, but I didn't have any problems. It was pretty tasty. Next time I would reduce the agave, it was just a little too sweet. Here is the frosting recipe:

1 cup coconut milk
1 cup agave nectar
pinch celtic sea salt
5 teaspoons arrowroot powder
1 tablespoon water
1¼ cup coconut oil

In a medium saucepan, heat coconut milk, agave and salt, simmer for 10 minutes. In a small bowl, combine arrowroot and water to form a smooth paste. Pour arrowroot mixture into saucepan. Mix contents of saucepan with a hand blender and bring to a boil, briefly. Remove pot from heat and very gradually blend in coconut oil. Place pot in freezer for 20-30 30-40 minutes, until frosting solidifies and turns white. Remove from freezer and blend again, until fluffy. Spread over cake or cupcakes.

For the cupcakes, I altered an existing recipe I found. They came out really good. The flavor was nutty because I used oatmeal as my flour and someone said they were similar in taste to carrot cake.

½ cup almond milk
¾ cup palm sugar
¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ teaspoon coconut extract
1¼ cup oat flour (I didn't have oat flour so I used regular slow cook oatmeal, that I put in the food processor and made into a powder)
1½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup coconut oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line cupcake pans with liners. Combine all the dry ingredients in one bowl and mix, put all the wet ingredients in another bowl and mix. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Spoon batter into cupcake liners and bake for 20 minutes, or until tops of cupcakes are firm. Let cool. I only got about 9 cupcakes out of this so if you need more you should double the recipe.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Gluten-Free Carob Chip Cookies

This is a super easy recipe for a basic carob chip cookie adapted from a book called The Spunky Coconut Cookbook. The original recipe uses chocolate chips instead of carob, but I really like the taste of carob so I almost always use it in place of chocolate.

1 egg (beaten)
1/8 teasp vanilla créme liquid stevia
¼ cup of agava 1 cup of almond flour
¼ cup of brown rice flour
¼ teasp of xanthan gum
¼ teasp of baking soda
¼ teasp of baking powder
¼ cup of carob chips
¼ cup of walnuts

Mix egg, liquid stevia and agave in a bowl, slowly add almond flour, brown rice flour, xanthan gum, baking soda, powder and mix, fold in carob chips and walnuts. Makes about 2 dozen.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

All Natural Peanut Butter Cups

Every year around Easter, I start dreaming about peanut butter eggs. When I was younger, my mom always made sure my Easter basket was filled with mostly peanut butter cups. Now as an adult, who has to watch her weight, it’s a real struggle this time of year not to eat too many of them when they are everywhere! Thankfully, I stumbled upon an unbelievably good recipe from Kelly Keough’s cookbook, Sugar-free Gluten-free Baking and Desserts for peanut butter cups that are all-natural and free of processed sugar. Now I can indulge like a kid again!

Ingredients for Candy
1 1/2 cups extra virgin coconut oil, melted
3/4 cup organic chunky peanut butter (I used smooth)
1 tablespoon organic vanilla
6 packets ZSweet (I used 6 droppers of liquid Stevia, vanilla créme flavor)
1 teaspoon chocolate extract
4 tablespoons agave nectar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 cup roasted carob powder
1/2 cup raw cacao powder
1/2 cup raw cacao nibs
1/2 cup hemp seeds

Ingredients for Filling
1 cup organic chunky peanut butter (I used smooth)
3 tablespoons agave


For candy: Line mini cup cake tins with paper liners. Melt coconut oil under hot water or spoon into saucepan and melt over low flame. When coconut oil turns to a liquid, measure and pour oil in medium bowl. Slowly stir in peanut butter until smooth. Stir in vanilla, cinnamon, Zsweet (or liquid Stevia), chocolate extract, and agave nectar one at a time. Then slowly stir in cinnamon. Add carob and cocoa powder a spoonful at a time and blend until incorporated. Stir in cacao nibs and hemp seeds. Batter should run off of spoon easily but not too runny.

For filling: In separate bowl with spoon, blend peanut butter and agave. Spoon in a 1/2 teaspoon of the peanut butter filling into lined cupcake trays. Spoon into prepared liners chocolate batter until a third filled and covers peanut butter and agave mixture. Chill in freezer for 15 minutes. Keep in the freezer!

Yield: 50 candies.