Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Clusters

Okay, it’s October and I’ve officially transitioned into pumpkin spice mode, but within reason. I figured I had to create some sort of sweet bite utilizing pumpkin spice since it’s kinda expected this time of year. And, really, I don’t mind being a taste-tester since I don’t make stuff like this very often. I especially love licking the spoon, but sometimes let my husband in on the experience too.

Meanwhile, these clusters are a lovely balance of nuttiness, crunch, spice, salt, and sweet. The pumpkin pie spice becomes more prominent overnight, making these even better the next day. These are super simple to make too, but I do warn you to be careful when melting the chocolate. Moisture, even one drop, will make your chocolate seize and though it is potentially fixable, it’s a pain in the butt and not fun. I speak from experience — this happened the first time I tested this recipe. I was able to fix the chocolate after a Google search, but it took a long time and a lot of fuss. I’ve had it happen another time a long time ago too, but had to totally pitch the chocolate. So sad. Don’t let it happen to you!

Cheers and enjoy!

P.S. Catch the replay of me making these on KATU Afternoon Live from October 18 HERE! This was also my one-year anniversary going on the show!

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup raw pecans, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup large flaked unsweetened coconut
  • 3/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds/pepitas
  • 6 oz unsweetened baking chocolate (I used this brand)
  • 3 Tbsp coconut sugar, or more if you want sweeter chocolate
  • 1.5 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Maldon sea salt, to garnish (find HERE)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place raw pecans, pumpkin seeds, and coconut on a large baking sheet. Mix together and toast in the preheated oven for 5 minutes. Give a stir and if needed, toast for another 1-2 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
  2. Melt chocolate in a double boiler over medium-low heat. Be careful not to get any moisture in the chocolate or it will seize! Once melted, stir in the coconut sugar, pinch of sea salt, and pumpkin spice. Whisk until dissolved.
  3. Remove chocolate from heat and stir the nut mixture into the chocolate. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and drop chocolate clusters in 1-2 Tbsp portions. Finally, garnish with Maldon sea salt.
  4. Leave on counter to set or place in the fridge to speed things up a bit.

Yields: 18-20 clusters, give or take (depending on size)

Advertisements

Nutty Golden Sweet Potato “Toast”

nutty-golden-sweet-potato-toast

Sweet potato “toast” has been on my radar for some time now and I finally got around to trying it. Getting a foot of snow and being snowed in gave me the perfect opportunity to do so and luckily, I had all the ingredients for this variation on hand. Supposedly, you can make these in an actual toaster too, but I got rid of my toaster oven a while back because I no longer had use for it.

I went with a nutty (yes, I know sunflower seed butter isn’t made from nuts, but it yields a nutty flavor), spiced and slightly sweet combo here, but really, there are many possibilities. All the toppings listed here are to taste, so make it how you want it. Also, I used a white sweet potato here, but feel free to use whatever sweet potato variety you like. Meanwhile, I may post other creations of sweet potato “toast” in the near future, so stay tuned.

Enjoy!

By the way, I went back on KATU Afternoon Live this past Monday and made my spiced chicken stew recipe. Watch my segment HERE.

nutty-golden-sweet-potato-toast-trio

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium sweet potato, sliced into ~ 1/4″ vertical slices
  • Avocado oil, for drizzling (I used this brand)
  • Unsweetened sunflower seed butter (I used this one)
  • Unsweetened shredded coconut flakes
  • Ground turmeric
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper
  • Raw honey, if desired

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place sweet potato slices evenly on sheet. If any of the sweet potato slices end up being a bit thicker, pierce a few times with a fork. Lightly oil both sides of the sweet potato slices with avocado oil and then place in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until slightly toasted.
  2. Once the sweet potato slices have cooked, spread desired amount of sunflower seed butter on top of each slice. Then, top each with desired amount of unsweetened coconut flakes, turmeric, sea salt and black pepper, and a drizzle of raw honey, if using. Enjoy warm.

Yields: 2 servings

Turmeric and Spice Granola

turmeric spice granola 2

I’ve been putting turmeric in nearly everything lately and even recently bought some fresh turmeric root for the first time ever (it was great in stir fry with fresh ginger). I know turmeric is incredibly good for you and has great flavor, but often forget about it when I’m choosing my spices for a dish. I think it’s become more of a habit to reach for it now and don’t plan to forget about this incredible spice!

I regularly make homemade grain-free granola and while whipping up a batch one day, decided to try adding a little turmeric to it. I liked the way it turned out a lot, but tweaked the recipe slightly the second time I made it and liked it even better. Hope you enjoy it too!

turmeric spice granola

Ingredients:

  • 5-6 cups finely shredded unsweetened coconut
  • ~2.5 cups raw pumpkin seeds (I used raw sprouted ones)
  • ~2 cups raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract (I like this brand)
  • 2-3 Tbsp raw honey or to taste
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 + 1/8 tsp ground turmeric

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Pour coconut, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds on a large baking sheet.
  3. In a bowl or glass measuring cup, mix together the coconut oil, vanilla, raw honey, sea salt and spices.
  4. Pour oil and spice mixture over the coconut and seeds. Stir well to coat. If need be, divide granola up between two baking sheets, but make sure it’s not spread too thin, so the coconut doesn’t burn!
  5. Place in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Remove and stir, and place in oven for another 15 minutes. Stir again and if need be, place in oven for another 5-10 minutes. Keep an eye on it at this point to make sure it doesn’t get too dark!
  6. Cool completely and store in glass jars.

 

Grain-Free Blueberry Cobbler

img_3638

Blueberry season and fresh-picked berries call for cobblers and crisps, and my friend recently reminded me of this. I can’t tell you the last time I even made something of the sorts. Overall, I don’t do that much baking, but it is fun to take on a baking project every now and again. Not only that, but baked goods make the house smell so comfy and cozy. Sometimes, I feel like the smells are the best part!

Overall, the cobbler turned out well, but is best eaten day of and shortly after it comes out of the oven. Yes, it still tastes great the next day, but the dough part gets a little soggy from all berry juice. I actually didn’t mind it at all, especially because the flavor is still there and the dough is a little gritty versus totally mushy (since it’s almond flour/meal). You can be the judge though, but know that you’ve been forewarned, especially all you texture peeps out there.

Meanwhile, feel free to add your own flair to the cobbler — different berries and spices, shredded unsweetened coconut, nuts, etc. There’s a lot of room for variety with something like this, so have fun with it!

img_3634

For the berries:

  • 2.5 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 Tbsp coconut flour

Pour berries into a 9×9 baking dish. Mix with the coconut flour. Set aside.

For the dough:

  • 1 cup almond flour or meal (I used fresh ground from sprouted almonds)
  • 2 Tbsp coconut flour
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp raw honey
  • 6 Tbsp cold unsalted grass-fed butter, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk, plus extra for drizzling, if desired

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine almond flour/meal, coconut flour, sea salt, nutmeg, baking soda, lemon zest, lemon juice vanilla and honey.
  3. Add the butter and blend with your hands or with two knives until course crumbs form. Add the coconut milk and mix until a wet, shaggy dough forms.
  4. Drop mounds of the dough on top of the berries. It doesn’t have to be neat — we’re not going for perfection here. It’s not supposed to be perfect, in fact!
  5. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until dough is brown and berries are bubbly. Let cool about 10 minutes before serving, then serve immediately.
  6. Serve with coconut milk drizzled on top, if desired. Coconut milk whipped cream would also be delicious.

Yields: 4-5 servings

Cardamom Spice Sunbutter

Cardamom Spice Sunbutter.
Cardamom Spice Sunbutter.

Before you decide to make this recipe, here’s a few words of caution: do not attempt if you are not patient! That is no joke either! This was my first time making any sort of homemade sunbutter and it takes WAY longer than making nut butter. Holy cow, it was a good 30 minutes of back and forth blending and scraping the sides down. It might have even been longer! I couldn’t believe it, because nut butters come together in a flash, but not sunflower seed butter. With that said, be sure to allow yourself enough time and don’t expect it to come together in a pinch. In the end, it’s worth it because you have homemade sunbutter and saved money by making it yourself. Plus, it’s fun to play with flavor varieties, as I did here.

Also, if you don’t care for cardamom, feel free to omit it.

*****

Totally unrelated, but stay tuned for part II of my San Francisco trip, coming this Thursday! More great pictures to come!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups raw sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 4 pitted medjool dates, or more if desired for extra sweetness
  • 1 Tbsp Madagascar pure vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 1-2 Tbsp melted coconut oil

Directions:

  1. In a food processor, combine the sunflower seeds, coconut and dates. Blend until well ground into flour. Scrape down sides and continue to process.
  2. Add the vanilla, cinnamon, cardamom and sea salt and continue to process, scraping the sides down as needed. Keep processing and scraping – back and forth, back and forth.
  3. Then, add the coconut oil and continue to process. Continue to blend and scrape. Taste and adjust spices and sweetness as desired.
  4. Once desired consistency is reached, pour into jars and store in the refrigerator. Before using, remove from fridge and let sit on the counter for a bit to soften and come closer to room temperature. It firms up quite a bit when cold.

*Note: You can make your sunbutter to be thick like a paste or creamy and runny, which takes more blending. Just watch out, so you don’t overheat your food processor! It takes A LOT of time.

Coconut-Crusted Ginger Chicken

IMG_3384

It’s officially the week of my wedding! Wow, it’s so hard to believe it’s finally here. I’m so excited for the end of the week, so I can be done with this term, see my family, marry Jesse and celebrate. Even though I’ve been pretty stressed out (mainly because of school), it’ll all be worth it. I’m so blessed in this life.

Anyway, that’s all she wrote, folks. I’m keeping it short and sweet today. Enjoy the recipe, but more importantly, enjoy life.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb bone-in skin-on chicken breasts (I used one large breast, but 2 small works too)
  • 1 Tbsp grass-fed butter, melted
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Pinch of cayenne

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, mix together the coconut, ginger, sea salt and cayenne. Pour mixture onto a dinner plate and spread around, so plate is covered.
  2. Meanwhile, pour the melted butter on the chicken and quickly use a brush to make sure it’s well coated. Then, while it’s still wet, quickly dredge in coconut mixture. You can pat the mixture on as well, to make sure it’s covered. Alternatively, instead of the butter, an egg wash will work as well. A single beaten egg will probably suffice.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes or until cooked through. Check about halfway through to make sure coconut is not too brown. If need be, tent some foil over the top after it’s reached your preferred level of brownness.
  4. Serve with veggie of choice.

Yields: 2 servings

Creamy Cinnamon Chicken

Creamy cinnamon chicken over mashed butternut squash.

As stated by Jesse, “this meal is like dessert.” I can’t help but agree with the accuracy of his description. After all, it’s creamy, coconutty and cinnamon-y, and the butternut squash adds a touch of sweetness. It’s a beautiful combination.

On another note, it’s officially my birthday week! I enjoy celebrating my birthday every year, whether I do something low-key or not. I just like birthdays. I don’t typically celebrate all week long, and honestly, don’t really have the time to do so right now, but will do something special on my actual birth day. It’s this Saturday, if you’re wondering, and I’ll be turning 28 years young. It’s going to be a hectic week school-wise, so I’m looking forward to getting there.

Anyway, happy Monday and I hope you all enjoy this recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 2 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 – 1 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbsp coconut butter
  • 2-3 tsp cinnamon
  • 1-3 tsp coconut flour, if needed for thickening
  • Butternut squash, roasted and mashed, optional

Directions:

  1. Melt coconut pan in a large pan over medium heat. Add chicken pieces and saute a few minutes. Mix in the cinnamon and season to taste with sea salt and pepper.
  2. Add 1/2 cup of coconut milk and the coconut butter; stir. Allow chicken to continue to cook over medium-low heat for 12-15 minutes. Thicken with coconut flour if needed and add up to 1/2 cup more coconut milk, if needed or desired.
  3. I recommend serving over mashed butternut squash. Alternatively, you can use a veggie of your choice.

Yields: ~5 servings

IMG_3027