Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Cashew Chocolate Whipped Cream!

So, I don't want to disappoint anyone...but I've kinda done a diet revamp. 

Cake is wonderful, and I still eat it, but something has sort of clicked in me lately that has made me think more seriously about the food I am putting into my body. 

I have heard the 'all things in moderation' phrase a bazillion times, and to an extent, i agree. BUT, everytime we tell ourselves we can eat that processed, hydrogenated fat, artificial flavor laden thing  juust  this one time, it adds up to being NOT just this one time. It adds up to hundreds of times, which in turn, affect our health in the long term.

Obviously, I am no doctor or scientist.

But, I do believe we have the gift of technology and a wealth of information around us which makes life a whole lot easier to learn and become knowledgeable about the world we live in and our amazing bodies we have been given!

That being said, I encourage you to look into ways we can combat sickness and disease through the food we eat! I have been blown away by all the things I thought were healthy for me, and come to find out- its all garbage. Just another ploy for companies too make money off of us consumers.

I'm also trying to get better at shopping for  as cheap as possible while buying as much organic, unprocessed food as possible. Any tips? Sadly, theres no such thing as coupons for fresh produce, cheese and meat. That annoys me!

So, even though I am making some drastic changes in my diet, I don't want to ever give up my sweets. I love them, they love me. We're in love. 

Im just figuring out how to healthify things and make them more nutritious so I'm not just loading up on empty carbs and sugar.

Have you ever had Cashew whipped cream? I know it's huge in vegan land, and I've wanted to do it for awhile now, so today was the pretty exciting day that I actually DID it!

Its really good.

I don't think I would call it whipped cream, more like a mousse. But a little lighter than a mousse.

Whatever, it's chocolate, sweet and made from cashews and coconut oil. Delicious and MUCH better for you than Cool Whip. I'm sure the ingredients in cool whip can be tweaked in a way to make building material strong enough to withstand nuclear war.

This is a multiple step process. So don't be thinking you can just pop out the food processor and whip it together. 
Patience, my friend!
I did play by play pictures to hopefully help you with this multiple step process; I realize they are horrible and gross. Apologies.

Cashew Chocolate Whipped Cream
adapted from Magic Jelly

For the cream:
1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight 
2 Cups filtered water
2 Tbsp. organic,  coconut oil
2 tsp. organic, raw sugar
1/4 tsp salt

For Whipping it:
 1/4 cup organic confectioners sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
4 Tbsp. Vegan margarine

1/2 cup Enjoy Life semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 Tbsp non-hydrogenated shortening or coconut oil (for melting)

Drain and rinse the cashews. Place in your food processor with 1 cup of the water and blend for 1 minute, so you have a thick paste. It will probably be a bit grainy still.

Pour cashew paste and remaining cup of water in a medium sauce pan, and heat through.
Add coconut oil, sugar and salt and stir constantly for 5-10 minutes until it is thickened and gently bubbling.
Allow to simmer 5-10 minutes- don't stop stirring this whole time!

Take off the heat and return to food processor (I used my Ninja, the thing is amazing!), and puree for 3-5 minutes. Once your mixture is completely smooth, pour into a bowl and refrigerate until completely cool.

Once completely cool, pour your mixture into a mixing bowl along with confectioners sugar and vanilla.
Beat with whisk attachment on high for about 1 minute.

In a separate bowl an electric whisk, beat the margarine until pale and fluffy. Add to cashew mixture. Beat the two together for 2 minutes on high. Soft peaks with develop if all is done correctly!

Melt Chocolate chips at 2, 25 second intervals, stirring well in between.

Pour chocolate into your 'cream' mixture and whip it on high for another minute or two.

(action shot, and darned flash went off)

Pour final mixture into a pretty little bowl, and refrigerate for about 30 minutes to firm it up.
Me and my daughter LOVED this.
I hope you enjoy it and I would love to hear about any other variations I could do!

-You can add more confectioners sugar if you want more sweetness. I'm sure you can sweeten with dates, too, I'm just not sure how to. This is all very new to me!

-This cream is a little on the soft side. For a thicker cream, the cashew to water ratio should be 1:1.

-If you don't want chocolate cream, omit chocolate chips.

-You can also do this with almonds!

-If you didnt think ahead of time to soak the nuts over night you can also place them in a saucepan with water and bring to simmer. Turn off heat and allow to cool completely.

-Fantastic with strawberries, bananas, and pretty much anything you can think of. Our favorite was spoon to mouth.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Cinnamon Pear Coffeecake

Right now as I sit here, I am in shock. A good shock.

My daughter is notorious for waking up at the crack of dawn. Which in my opinion, is 5 am. No matter how late she is up the night before- come 5 am on. the. dot. she is up and ready to go.

Now, I am definitely a morning person. Just not a before the sun is up kind of morning person.

Last night we were out and didn't get back til 8:45, and little miss didn't go to bed until 9 pm. Naturally, I was planning on her schedule being a little different tomorrow, and her being extra grumpy today. So when I woke up at 6, and still no baby was awake, I decided to get a head start on my day! It is now 6:50.

Is it bad to say that I'm really digging this alone time with my laptop and coffee?!

Happy Valentines day to me.

I made this cinnamon pear coffeecake a few days ago for the second time, and it's safe to say, this is one of our favorites. Even the little miss loves it. And I would love to tell you that it's 'healthier' because It has no butter and oil in it....which is mostly true....but I made up for that by adding a healthy dose of cinnamon chips and streusel topping. Bite me.

I know that If someone made this for me for valentines day, I would love them a lot more than I hopefully already do.

Cinnamon Pear Coffeecake
Adapted from yummy mummy kitchen
Pre-heat oven to 400

1 1/2 cups AP flour
2 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 egg
1/2 cup almond milk (cow's milk works too)
1/4ish cup applesauce
1/2 cup cinnamon chips
2 Pears, peeled and sliced

Combine dry ingredients.
In separate bowl, beat the egg then add milk and applesauce.
Add wet ingredients to the dry and add in cinnamon chips.
Stir just until combined.
Pour into a greased 8x8 pan, or a 8" round pan.
Arrange pear slices on top in a single layer. Pears overlapping is okay.

Streusel Topping:
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
2 Tbsp. Butter
1 tsp. cinnamon

Combine all ingredients, and with either a fork and knife, or pastry cutter, cut in the butter until it resembles small peas.
Sprinkle over pears.
Bake for 25-35 minutes, until knife comes out of the center mostly clean. ( You don't want a dry coffeecake!)

We enjoy it hot out of the oven!

I hope you make this and love it. And obviously if you don't like pears, apples work just the same! Have fun, I tell you!

Baby just woke up. Quite alone time = over.
Happy Valentines Day!