16 jun. 2017

Peachy Smoothie Bowl

Last night I attended my favorite band's last show ever in Barcelona, it's the finnish metal band H.I.M. and honestly, I'm still in awe and in shock at the same time. I've never imagined I could beging a blog post talking about their farewell tour...because I thought they were one of the few bands out there that will always stick together. Been following them for so many years, I have their heartagram symbol tattooed (yeah, I'm a freak of HIM) and as a true loyal fan it was both awesome and super sad to be there. When they played some of my favorite songs I couldn't help but shed some tears. It was a whirlwind of emotions and definitely a night that I will never forget. Also, the whole farewell thing makes me feel kinda old (?!), when your old time favorite band says goodbye you feel like it's the end of an era.
So apart from the lack of sleep (with this heat it's almost impossible to fall asleep), and feeling incredibly emotional yet I just don't feel very talkative. But there's always time to prepare something comforting, healthy and yummy to lift one's spirits: peachy smoothie bowl to the rescue!
Naturally sweet, refreshing and full of plant-based power and goodness. Hope you all have a lovely weekend, I'll be preparing a new recipe while trying to survive this heat wave. xo

¡Receta en español muy pronto en la web de El Granero Integral!

Peachy Smoothie Bowl
(2 servings)

1 cup peach (around 2 medium peaches or 1 large one).
2 frozen bananas.
1/4 to 1/2 cup coconut milk beverage.
2 teaspoons maca powder.
1 tablespoon chia seeds.
1 tablespoon baobab powder (optional).
1 tablespoon almond butter (optional).
- Toppings:
Dragon fruit (pitaya).
Star fruit (carambola).
Chopped almonds.
Puffed quinoa.
Chia seeds.

Wash the peaches thoroughly, slice them in half and remove the pit. Cut them into medium chunks.
Place all the ingredients (baobab and almond butter are optional) inside your blender and pulse until well pureed and smooth. Increase or decrease the milk until the smoothie reaches the right consistency, it will also depend on how ripe the peaches are (and which variety you choose).
For best results I recommend to use very ripe bananas and don't forget to chop them before freezing.
If both the peaches and milk were stored in the fridge the smoothie will be already cold but alternatively you can let it chill in the freezer for a few minutes until very cold and refreshing.
Top with the suggested fruit above, the chopped almonds, puffed quinoa and sprinkle with some extra chia seeds.

8 jun. 2017

Black Sesame Ice Cream

I tasted black sesame ice cream for the first time two summers ago when I was enjoying a delicious lunch with my sister. We were at one of our favorite veggie restaurants in Barcelona and of course I was looking forward to try their new plant-based ice creams (I always leave room for dessert! haha). Truth be told I almost ordered their chocolate ice cream, I doubted that the combination of tofu and black sesame could make a yummy ice cream cause: one, my tastebuds are very well trained when it comes to detect a truly delicious ice cream (vegan or not), and whenever I've ventured to try new vegan ice cream flavors I've ended up utterly disappointed...and two, I was afraid the tahini they used had a bitter taste (some tahini brands have a really bitter taste, yuck). But I finally decided to try that 'exotic' flavor and oh boy what a nice surprise it was! I didn't expect it to be so creamy, rich and delicious, but it was.
Whenever I go out to eat and I fall in love with a certain dish I know that as soon as I get home I start thinking about recreating it...and this is what happened last weekend. I finally put the bowl of my ice cream maker back to the freezer after several months 'hibernating' inside a box, bought silken tofu and black tahini and worked my magic. Honestly I thought I'd need a few tries to get the right consistency and flavor but the ice cream gods were by my side that day and the first batch tasted amazing so here I am sharing with you my recipe. I couldn't keep all this deliciousness just for myself and well all need some good summer vibes, am I right?
Don't be afraid by the black tahini or the tofu in this recipe, this ice cream doesn't have a weird taste, it is creamy and definitely different from what you may have tasted before but it's super yummy. I am a fan of the classic vanilla flavor but it's nice and fun to try new things and play with different ingredients to step out of boredom. Plus look at that beautiful grey color!

Black Sesame Ice Cream

2 cups full-fat coconut milk.
340 g/12 oz silken tofu, drained.
1/2 cup unrefined whole cane sugar.
2 tablespoons cornstarch.
1 teaspoon pure vanilla powder.
2-3 tablespoons black tahini (black sesame seed butter).
Black sesame seeds, for sprinkling.

Before proceeding make sure the silken tofu is well drained. Cut it into cubes and place inside the container of your blender along with the coconut milk, sugar, cornstarch and vanilla. Blend on high speed until well combined and smooth, you might need to stop and scrape down the sides of the container a couple of times.
Transfer the mixture to a medium saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently until a low boil begins. Reduce the heat and cook for a minute more or so until it looks slightly thicker. Remove from the heat, transfer the mixture to a heatproof bowl and add in the black tahini starting with two tablespoons, then taste and add an an extra tablespoon or two if your tahini doesn't have a strong bitter aftertaste. You won't notice any weird aftertaste by adding 2 to 3 tablespoons, the sugar and coconut milk will help a lot.
Cover the surface of your ice cream base with plastic wrap to prevent any skin from forming and let it cool completely at room temperature.
Once cooled transfer to a shallow freezer-safe container, cover the surface with plastic wrap again and put the lid on. Refrigerate the ice cream base for at least 3 hours, it is very important to have a really cold mixture in order to get a creamy ice cream later.
Churn following your ice cream maker's instructions, I churn mine for 30 minutes and always have to keep the container in the freezer for at least 24 hours before proceeding.
Once churned the ice cream will have a soft serve consistency, transfer to an airtight container and let it set in the freezer until solid.
Let the ice cream thaw at room temperature for 15 minutes or more, it will be rock solid at first but don't worry, it'll become soft and scoopable if you have a little bit of patience (trust me!). 
Sprinkle some black sesame seeds on top before serving and enjoy!

25 may. 2017

Coconutty Cookies

This week more than ever I need to sweeten up my life, can't stop thinking where the hell is this world going to. So many sad news lately it's easy to give in to hopelessness. But this blog is all about good vibes and yummy food, okay...maybe a little rant here and there, but I always try to keep it cool and positive on here. This morning a quote from one of my favorite tv series 'Once Upon a Time' pop into my mind and I think it's really appropiate now that we are facing darker times:
"Darkness never wins. It just fools you into thinking it does."
And now let's talk about this week's recipe, one that will please all the fans of the coconut and chocolate combo. These cookies are loaded with coconut, almond butter, a subtle touch of lemon and the base is coated with an intense chocolate glaze. Fat, cakey cookies...I simply love them! Plus they are vegan and naturally gluten-free! Needless to say these cuties were gone almost in one sitting and even my mom who is not very fond of coconut loved them (but I secretly ate the last one! hee hee).
I hope you like my recipe, try it at home and think of me with a smile on your face while munching down the very last cookie. 

¡Receta en español en la web de El Granero Integral!

Coconutty Cookies
(Yield: 12 cookies)

- For the cookies:
1/3 cup almond butter.
Zest of half a lemon.
3 teaspoons lemon juice.
1/3 cup agave syrup or pure maple syrup.
1/4 cup coconut flour or oat flour.
1 teaspoon baking soda.
Pinch of salt.*
2 1/4 cups unsweetened shredded coconut.

- For the dark chocolate glaze:
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted.
1/4 cup cocoa powder.
1 tablespoon maple syrup or agave syrup.

* See 'Notes'.

Preheat the oven to 180 ºC (356 ºF) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
In a large mixing bowl mix together the flour and baking soda with a wire whisk to aerate the mixture. Add in the rest of the ingredients and mix with a spatula until completely combined, the mixture will be fairly thick due to the high amount of shredded coconut but you can finish the mixing process using your clean hands. I mixed it all really well using a silicone spatula, though.
Scoop around two tablespoons of mixture for each cookie and roll into balls. Place them on the prepared baking sheet leaving some space between them and flat them a little bit to form discs.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through the baking time if necessary to ensure all cookies get the same light golden brown color.
Cookies will still be soft to the touch but let them rest on the baking sheet for a few minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack until they are completely cool.
- For the dark chocolate glaze:
In a small saucepan over medium-low heat stir together the coconut oil and maple syrup, gradually add in the cocoa powder and mix until well combined. The glaze should look glossy and have zero lumps. Keep an eye on the temperature, the mixture should never boil!
Once the cookies have cooled, transfer to the freezer for 5 minutes approximately or until very firm.
Dip the base of each cookie into the chocolate glaze and place them on a lined baking sheet (glazed side up), take them back to the freezer so the glaze hardens quickly and repeat the coating process again.
Store the cookies in an airtight container in the fridge.

- If you use salted almond butter omit the pinch of salt.
- For a more intense lemon flavor add 1-2 drops of organic essential lemon oil.
- Cookies will look darker if using maple syrup. You might think they browned quickly but do not reduce the baking time to less than 10 minutes.
- If you have gluten intolerance make sure the oat flour is certified gluten-free.