Here's the Dish

healthy ANDI licious

Cherry Cocoa Almond Smoothie April 20, 2013

Cherry Cocoa Almond SmoothieCherry Cocoa Almond Smoothie
with vanilla extract & creamy almond butter

Indulge & be fit! Cater to your cocoa craving with this lux fruity creation.

Ingredients

-3/4 cup frozen dark cherries (preferably without added sugar)
– 1 small frozen banana (peel & freeze the night before)
-1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (not “Dutch” processed-if possible as this makes for a milder flavor but strips out some antioxidants)
– 1 tsp almond butter
– 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (less for a thicker smoothie)
– 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Method

Peel and freeze the banana at least 4 hours in advance. If you make smoothies often, keep some frozen ready to go.

Blend ingredients until smoothie and serve immediately. Enjoy!

Naturally dairy-free, gluten-free, & soy-free. For a nut-free version swap the almond butter for 1 tsp coconut oil and use coconut milk instead of almond milk. If you’re subbing in coconut milk, opt for the carton variety found in the refrigerated grocery store aisle rather than the higher-fat canned variety.

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Cloud 9 Icebox Chocolate Pie March 21, 2012

Cloud 9: Who knew tofu and chocolate would pair so well?

Cloud 9 Icebox Chocolate Pie
with creamy tofu & almond crumble crust

No one will guess your secret ingredient to lighten up this slice of chocolate indulgence–at least no one who hasn’t already used this secret ingredient in her own kitchen: tofu.

Ingredients
Pie Filling
–   1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Vegan chocolate chips if  going dairy-free. Carob is a different flavor but not healthier–just different.

–   1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
–   1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
–   1 package tofu (calcium-fortified, organic)
–   1/4 cup almond milk

Crust
–   1 & 1/3 cup almond meal
–   2 tbsp olive or canola oil
–   2 tbsp brown sugar
–   2-3 tbsp warm water (more if needed)

**Nut-Free Version: Use a whole-wheat or spelt frozen pie crust and soy or regular milk instead of almond milk in the filling to go nut-free (instead of dairy or gluten-free). The frozen or ready-made whole-wheat pie crusts can serve as a quick , healthy version if you are not serving to gluten-free guests.

Method
Almond Crumble Crust
1) Preheat oven to 350°F.
2) Mix almond meal, oil,and sugar in medium bowl or right in the pie pan. Add water 1 spoonful at a time, as needed, until mixture becomes slightly moist but not watery.
3) Smooth mixture to form thin crust, covering bottom and sides of pie pan.
4) Bake for about 15 minutes at 350°F and set aside to cool. To speed up cooling process you can place baked almond crust in the freezer or fridge while you make the filling.

Icebox Chocolate Pie Filling
1) Melt chocolate chips in a microwave-safe ceramic bowl for about 1 minute and 30 seconds at power 80% in the microwave or in a saucepan on your stove top, stirring frequently.
2) Combine ingredients, including melted chocolate, in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
3) Pour well-blended filling into pie crust and allow to sit and “form” in fridge for a least an hour before serving. Store in fridge.

Soy Side Note: While I do think that tofu is often way overused as a go-to vegetarian, vegan, and dairy-free ingredient, I can’t deny that it serves this recipe beautifully. (For a vegan protein fix, try pairing complementary proteins instead of using soy daily. Yes, tofu is made out of soy.)

 

Hot Cocoa that Loves You Back February 4, 2012

Rich, warm, drinkable cocoa so good you won't believe how good it is for you!

More Love Hot Cocoa
healthy twist on a cozy classic

Leave the packets behind. Artificial sweeteners, additives, who needs them? Ok, the “just add water” kind is great for camping but this choc-full-of-nutrient blend is almost as easy to make. A cup does wonders to satisfy those persistent chocolate cravings without gulping down hefty doses of saturated fat, sugar, and calories.

BREW IT
– 4-5 tsp unsweetened Cocoa Powder (alkali-free if possible)
– 3/4 cup Almond milk or Coconut Milk (or a mix)
-1-2 drops of Real Vanilla Extract
-Dash of cinnamon & nutmeg (optional)
-1/8 tsp Stevia powder OR  1/2 tsp Honey

In a microwave safe ceramic mug (no metal), spoon in cocoa powder then add almond or coconut milk. Add remaining ingredients except for honey–if you are using this instead of stevia–which can be added at the end. Stir ingredients and microwave on high for 1 minute and 30 seconds. Carefully remove mug and stir well.

 

Spicy Roasted Squash Seeds February 11, 2011

Spicy Roasted Squash Seeds

A unique blend of spaghetti squash seeds, unsweetened cocoa powder, cayenne pepper, olive oil, rosemary and a dash of brown sugar give these seeds a sweet and spicy flavor.

Try it at Home:

Preheat oven to 375°F. Rinse seeds thoroughly (if you just removed them from your squash) and place in a bowl with 1-2 tablespoons olive oil. Mix in 1 tablespoon unsweetened (alkali-free) cocoa powder and 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper powder. Shake it a small pinch of crushed rosemary leaves, a pinch of brown sugar, and just a small dash of salt.

Mix together and spread onto baking sheet. Set your timer for 10 minutes. Check the seeds often during that time and stir them with a spatula so that they don’t get baked on to the pan.  When you seeds start to appear crisp (after about 10 minutes) remove them from pan and enjoy!

Cocoa Note: Unsweetened Cocoa Powder is a gem to keep on hand. You can use it in dessert recipes to amp up the chocolate flavor without adding extra fat or sugar, like in my original hot banana with chocolate and cocoa recipe, or in small amounts to compliment spicy flavors as shown here.  Cocoa powder is rich in antioxidants, particularly flavanols which are good for the heart. For the best health punch, opt for the alkali-free or the non-dutch version. The dutching process mellows out the flavor but also destroys some of the naturally occurring flavanols.