28 jul. 2016

Chunky Monkey Nice Cream

I always keep some frozen bananas to use for smoothies and especially for nice creams, they come in handy when you are desperately craving for a frozen treat and don't have the time for the whole ice cream-making process: putting the bowl of your ice cream maker in the freezer, waiting for the base to chill in the fridge, churning the ice cream and finally putting it in the freezer until it becomes scoopable.
The summer heat can be pretty unbearable here, some days working out can be pretty challenging (especially with the AC turned off) and you just end up covered in sweat and begging for something super refreshing to make you feel alive again. Then, it's when nice creams come to the rescue! Instant gratification with minimum effort.
This recipe is the skinny sister of the famous Ben & Jerry's ice cream flavor called 'Chunky Monkey', actually one of my favorites, but I try to resist the temptation and avoid the ice cream aisle at the supermarket. Store-bought ice creams are loaded with tons of sugar, syrups, etc...and I'm not kickin' my ass and working out hard for nothing. So I like to make my own version at home, way healthier and whipped up in just five minutes. The original Chunky Monkey flavor is a banana ice cream base with chocolate fudge chunks and walnuts; I decided to make a "two-in-one" type of chunk and covered my walnuts in dark chocolate...so yummy! I must confess I ate a bunch while I was preparing the props for the pictures. Of course, if you don't want to plan ahead and make your nice cream in less time simply throw in a handful of walnuts and chop big chunks of your favorite dark chocolate bar.
Keep in mind that we are talking about nice creams, they are not actually ice cream so don't expect to get perfect scoops, they are more like soft serve ice cream but delicious and creamy anyway, plus they are gluten-free, dairy-free and also sugar-free if you don't add the dark chocolate chunks...but I highly recommend you to do it. Trust me. Bananas and chocolate are a match made in heaven! ;-)

Receta en español aquí!

Chunky Monkey Nice Cream
(3 servings approximately)

- Nice cream:
4 frozen bananas.
3 1/2 tablespoons full fat coconut milk.
1 teaspoon pure vanilla powder.
Coconut syrup, for serving.
- Dark chocolate covered walnuts: 
1/2 cup (88 g) dark chocolate.
1 scant cup (80 g) walnuts.

- Peel and cut into medium chunks your bananas before freezing.
- You can choose to refrigerate the coconut milk overnight and use the coconut cream (the thick white cream), this way the nice cream will become creamier. Or you can also buy organic coconut cream/butter. Either way, I've tried this recipe with room-temperature, well-stirred coconut milk and other times with refrigerated and I got pretty good results every time.

- To make the chocolate covered walnut chunks:
Chop the dark chocolate, place it in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (a bain marie), and allow the chocolate to melt, stirring occasionally.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and put a wire rack on top. Place the walnuts on the rack and cover with the melted chocolate, set aside to let excess chocolate drip off. Transfer to the fridge until the chocolate hardens.

- To make the nice cream:
Add all the ingredients into a food processor or high speed blender and blend until smooth. You might need to stop a few times and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Transfer the mixture to a freezer-safe airtight container and freeze for around 30 minutes so it becomes a tad bit more scoopable.
Place the serving bowls/cups in the fridge, this will help the nice cream to stay cold and don't melt so quickly.
Stir in the walnuts, scoop into bowls and serve in the chilled cups.
Nice creams are best enjoyed straight after they are made, I don't recommend to freeze them longer than 30 minutes or overnight. They don't contain fats and starches like ice creams that keep them creamy so they will become hard as rocks, ice crystals will form and thus all the creaminess will disappear.

12 jul. 2016

Red Lentil Gluten-Free Waffles

I know what you're thinking, "waffles with red lentils?!"...fear not, cause these gluten-free waffles are actually yummy! I used red lentil flour and brown rice flour, the first one is a totally new to me flour since I have never cooked with it before and rice flour is usually my first option when I want to make a gluten-free recipe.
My friends at El Granero Integral sent me a few packs of their new organic pulse flours: green pea flour and red lentil flour. Of course my first thought when I received them was to try something sweet. Plus I'm always trying to find a good excuse to use my new belgian-style waffle maker, one of the best purchases I've made in a long time, I simply love it!
These wholesome waffles have an interesting nutty and slightly earthy flavor, deliciously crispy on the outside yet light and soft on the inside. It's a quick recipe, you'll be enjoying a great breakfast in the blink of an eye; since they are packed with a decent amount of protein and good carbs I love to prepare them in the afternoon before/after an intense workout session.
Have you ever cooked with red lentil flour? I would love to try some savory recipes as well!
...and now I'm off to buy some cute tin cups I saw yesterday and fell in love with them, gotta be quick before they are sold out since the girl at the store told me they were the last ones. I always say to myself that I'm going to stop buying photography props for a while but can't help it. I guess it's something almost all food bloggers struggle with, haha. ;-)

Red Lentil Gluten-Free Waffles
(Yield: 6 belgian-style waffles)

3/4 cup red lentil flour.
3/4 cup brown rice flour.
3 tablespoons flax meal.
4 tablespoons raw cane sugar.
2 teaspoons baking powder.
A pinch of Himalayan pink salt.
3 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil.
1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk.
1 teaspoon pure vanilla powder.

In a medium mixing bowl stir together using a wire whisk the flours, flax meal, sugar, baking powder and salt.
In a separate bowl whisk together the coconut oil and almond milk, stir in the vanilla powder. 
Add the milk mixture to the bowl with the dry ingredients and mix just until combined and no lumps are visible.
Let the batter rest for a couple minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your waffle iron and don't forget to grease it with a bit of coconut oil.
Give the batter a quick stir and cook the waffles according to your manufacturer's instructions.
My waffle maker lets you choose the doneness/color and texture so if you can choose, I'd recommend you to cook them until they are crispy on the outside.

7 jul. 2016

Piña Colada Pops

Can't think of a better way to beat the summer heat than enjoying a homemade popsicle while chilling at home, or even better laying down by the pool. But really, these easy Piña Colada pops will help you cool down on very hot days and they are super tasty, creamy and good for you! No refined sugar, no fats, just sweet fresh fruit and creamy coconut milk. You just need a little bit of patience until the pops harden but that's all, you'll whip up these cuties in just 5 minutes.
I didn't add any sweetener but you should taste the mixture once you have blended all the ingredients and check the level of sweetness, depending on how ripe your bananas are and the brand of canned pineapple you use you might need to add a small amount of liquid sweetener like agave syrup, pure maple syrup or my latest summer addiction, coconut syrup.
Now I'm going to prepare my next blog post which most probably will be something equally summery and refreshing. ;-)

Receta en español aquí!

Piña Colada Pops
(Yield: 8 pops approx.)

1 can full fat coconut milk.
6 slices unsweetened canned pineapple.
2 frozen bananas.
Optional: liquid sweetener of choice.

Cut the pineapple slices into medium chunks. Remember to also cut the bananas into chunks before freezing them, this way the blender will easily crush them as if they were ice cubes.
Place all ingredients in your blender and blend until smooth.
Taste and add your favorite liquid sweetener, if desired.
Pour the mixture into popsicle molds and freeze until solid. If using sticks, insert them in the molds when the pops are partially frozen, after 1 hour approximately.
To unmold simply let the pops sit out at room temperature for a few minutes or run the mold under water.

1 jul. 2016

Orange Energy Bites

It's so hot in Barcelona that turning on the oven is definitely something I'm not planning to do. I mean, there are so many delicious summery recipes and refreshing treats I feel they are a priority right now. I don't wanna regret in september not having done all the recipes I wrote down in my notebook right when the first signs of summer started to appear and I was all excited thinking about ice cream cones, watermelon gazpacho and mojitos.
Due to my crazy hectic schedule I'm publishing this recipe today, on a friday, instead of doing it earlier like I usually do. But I've managed to get a couple hours just for myself...which means blogging!
This is such an easy and quick recipe! Even faster if you have a good food processor cause it'll chop and mix everything together in no time. I've made several energy bites before and can't help but trying different combinations of nuts and fruits to get new flavors. They make a great grab-and-go snack and come in super handy when you need that extra dose of energy (and sweetness) after a workout session or a long day at work.
These orange bites, along with my lemon & ginger ones, are my favorite flavors at the moment. I hope you like them and if you try them at home don't forget to let me know, share a pic with me or you could make me even more happy if you tag me on Instagram, drop me a line or leave a comment on my Facebook page.

Orange Energy Bites
(yield: 20-22 balls approx.)

1 cup Medjool dates.
3/4 cup raw blanched almonds.
3/4 cup raw cashews.
2 tablespoons chia seeds.
1 1/2 tablespoons raw cacao powder.
1 tablespoon hemp protein powder.
1 tablespoon maca powder.
Ground ginger.
3 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut.
2 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil.
2 drops organic orange essential oil.
Freshly squeezed juice of 1/2 orange.
Cocoa powder (optional), to cover the balls.

In the bowl of your food processor place the almonds, cashews, chia seeds and coconut, and pulse until a coarse flour forms, around 1 minute.
Pit the dates, cut them in halves and squeeze the orange. 
Add all the remaining ingredients and process until a stick dough forms, it should have a compact consistency and you should stop the food processor a few times and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Scoop out the mixture using a one-tablespoon measuring spoon and roll into balls using your hands. If the dough is quite sticky you can wet your hands a little bit or apply a tiny amount of coconut oil to avoid any mess.
Roll the balls in cocoa powder and place in the fridge for about 30 minutes before eating, they will firm up and taste even better!
Store the energy bites in the refrigerator, inside an airtight container.