Decadent Fruit Dip (Everyday Paleo)

I always love it when the kids get more fruits and veggies throughout the day.  One of the ways to do this is to have it is a dessert or for breakfast and adding a dip helps make eating fruits a little more fun.  These are easy to make and a great dairy-free alternative to yogurt based dips.  The recipe is from www.everydaypaleo.com.  I also have a dull salad knife and fruit cutting knife that I let the kids use to help chop some of the fruits to put in the dip.  When they’re involved in the process, although it can be slower and a little more messy, they enjoy eating it a little more. 

Decadent Fruit Dip

  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 2 teaspoons coconut flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (Optional)

Put all the ingredients into a food processor or blender, except for the cocoa powder, and blend until smooth. If desired, pour out half of the mixture and add the cocoa powder to the food processor with the other half of the dip.  Process again until the dip is well mixed.  Now you have 1 vanilla dip and 1 chocolate dip!  Makes 1 cup of vanilla and 1 cup of chocolate.  After some time in the refrigerator, the dip will become even thicker.

Blueberry Coffee Cake

It’s Saturday night and my 2 nieces are here for the night for a sleepover.  When I put the kids to bed, they wanted to know what was for breakfast.  Since it’s Sunday tomorrow I thought I’d bake them up a treat, a healthy one though.  So, Blueberry Coffee Cake it is.  I’ve never tasted it but judging by the smell and a sample of the topping, it’s going to be delicious.  I have yet to taste anything from www.thespunkycoconut.com website that isn’t great.  I have her recipe book and love it as well.  The other thing I love about this recipe is the ability to use some organic local blueberries, even in the winter since we have access to frozen local blueberries in Nova Scotia.  I didn’t use the 9″ cake pan as it calls for in the recipe since I don’t have one yet. 

Ingredients:
Add to bowl:
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1/8 tsp vanilla stevia
 Mix with handheld mixer.
Add:
  • 1 cup almond meal flour (I grind my sliced almonds in the food processor to make the almond flour)
  • 1/2 cup tapioca flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour, sifted
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
 Mix again.
Pour into greased 9″ ceramic pie dish. Spread evenly.
Add about 3/4 cup blueberries and press them into the batter.
Process crumble topping in Vitamix or food processor:
  • 2 cups walnuts
  • 2 tbsp ghee or coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar (can be purchased at Bulk Barn)
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon (I used a heaping tablespoon instead, love cinnamon)
 Add half of the crumble topping. Press it down slightly.
Add the other half of the crumble topping and about 3/4 cup more blueberries.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes.

Asian Meatballs (turkey or beef) with Lime Sesame Dipping Sauce

Jason made these with ground turkey last week and with grass-fed beef this week, both were equally tasty. He found the recipe on www.skinnytaste.com and modified it slightly for our own dietary preferences. Can be served with side salad or whatever steamed veggies you like for a great paleo meal.

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/4 lbs ground turkey (or grass-fed beef)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp ginger, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Bragg’s soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sesame oil

Dipping Sauce

  • 4 tbsp Bragg’s soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp fresh chopped scallion

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 500°F.
  2. Mix ground turkey (or ground beef) egg, salt, scallions, ginger, cilantro, 1 tbsp soy sauce, and 2 tsp oil and mix with your hands until combined well. Shape 1/4 cup meat mixture into a ball and transfer to a baking dish. Repeat with remaining mixture. Bake until cooked through, about 15 minutes.
  3. For the dipping sauce mix together lime juice, water, soy sauce, and remaining 2 teaspoons of oil in a bowl. Add scallions.
  4. Transfer meatballs to a serving dish. Stir sauce, then drizzle meatballs with 1 tablespoon of sauce.
  5. Serve meatballs with remaining sauce, about 1 tbsp per person. Chances are you won’t use all the dipping sauce.

Makes 12 meatballs.

Buttercup Squash Soup

Last week, we hired a chef to cook for us and our phenomenal staff.  Two of them have recently purchased a new home, one completed her MBA and one is leaving us in the next few weeks.  We had a lot to celebrate.  Chef Chris from www.flyingaproncookery.ca made a delicious squash soup and graciously allowed us to post his recipe.  I haven’t made it yet but if it tastes anything like his, I’ll be over the moon…so nutritious too!

INGREDIENTS

  •  3 pounds buttercup squash, halved and seeded
  •  1/2 cup Maple Syrup
  •  1 medium onion, diced
  •  2 cloves garlic, sliced
  •  3 cups Vegetable Stock or Water (Chef Chris used his own chicken broth he made from free-range chickens)
  •  1 cup coconut milk (canned)
  •  1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  •  1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  •  1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  •  1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  •  salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

1.            Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Pour a thin layer of water in a baking dish, or a cookie sheet with sides. Place the squash halves on the dish and drizzle with the Maple Syrup. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until a fork can easily pierce the flesh. Cool slightly, then remove the peel. Set aside.

2.            Heat Oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and sauté for a few minutes, until tender. Pour the Vegetable broth and coconut milk into the pot.  Cook for about 20 minutes, or until soft. Add the squash. Use a hand blender to puree the soup, or transfer to a blender or food processor in batches, and puree until smooth. Return to the pot.

3.            Season the soup with cayenne pepper, allspice, nutmeg, ginger, salt and pepper.

Garnish with toasted Pumpkin Seeds and Basil Oil

Vitamin D- Are you getting enough?

Ever notice how so few kids have runny noses in the summer compared to winter?  Most of us can also feel a distinct difference in our mood and in those around us when the sun finally comes out after a long gray winter.  There is something to be said about the sunshine.   A few weeks ago I attended a Vitamin D Symposium at Dalhousie University.   It was very informative and I’ve been telling my patients all about it and its importance ever since the seminar.  Everything from bone health, stronger immunity, mood elevation, different cancers, diabetes, headaches, achy body, MS, etc… has been shown to be linked to vitamin D levels in our body.  Vitamin D is an essential nutrient, are you getting enough?

What is it?  Considered to be “the sunshine vitamin” since it can be synthesized in the body with adequate exposure to sunlight.  It is required for proper functioning of the repair mechanism in the cell.  It acts as the key that unlocks the DNA library.  Without this essential nutrient, chaos can result in the cell as it tries to reproduce itself to make the body thrive in its environment.

Where do I get vitamin D?  Sunshine is the most natural source of vitamin D, mainly the UVB exposure.  There are many factors that influence how much vitamin D is produced in response to UVB exposure.  The most well-known factor is the angle of the sun’s rays.

Time of day, season, and latitude all determine the amount of UVB that reaches your skin. When the sun’s rays enter the Earth’s atmosphere at too much of an angle, the atmosphere diffuses (blocks) the UVB portion of the rays.  This occurs during the early and latter parts of the day, during the winter season (what is called “Vitamin D Winter”), and increases as one moves further away from the equator. A good rule of thumb is: If your shadow is longer than you are tall (an indicator of the oblique angle of the Sun), you are not making much vitamin D.

Time of day:  For vitamin D production, sun exposure should be midday between the hours of approximately 10am-2pm. These hours will vary slightly according to latitude. The closer to solar noon, the more vitamin D produced.

Season- Vitamin D Winter and latitude:  What latitude you reside at will affect the length of your Vitamin D Winter. Vitamin D Winter is when no vitamin D production is possible due to the atmosphere blocking all UVB. This lasts for several months, with the duration of time increasing as you move further from the equator. For many of us living in the Northern US and Canada, our Vitamin D winter can be as long as from the end of September to May.  Many people tell me they are outside a lot in the winter and get adequate vitamin D from that exposure.  Unfortunately, even if we (at our latitude) were fully exposed all winter, we would get minimal if any vitamin D from the sun during that vitamin D winter season.

How long should I be outside?  In an optimal environment (middle of the day in the summer) a light skinned person wearing a bathing suit will make about 15,000IU’s of vitamin D in 15-20 minutes.  Darker skinned individuals can do the same, but it will take twice as long.  The body will stop its production of vitamin D through a feedback loop after about 15,000IU’s.

What is the effect of sunscreen?  Sunscreen blocks UVB and prevents the manufacture of Vitamin D.  We have been warned so much about the dangers of skin cancer that we often forget that over the last century we have been steadily decreasing the amount of time we are spending outdoors.  Fewer and fewer people are working outdoors, more people are working in offices.  More individuals have been wearing sunscreen than any other time in history.  Yet, the rates of skin cancer are steadily increasing.  One of the things we definitely want to avoid is getting a  sunburn.  When we go south in the winter with the kids, after having been away from strong sunlight for so long, we are usually very pale.  We bring a natural sunscreen with us (with ingredients we can pronounce) from Burt’s Bees, Aubrey Organics etc…  We allow ourselves to go out for 10 minutes or so until we feel the skin get a little warm.  We then apply a natural sunscreen or apply more clothing so we can avoid burning in the first few days.  Over the week, our body gradually acclimatizes to the new environment. We can then make sure we are getting adequate exposure to provide our body with the ability to naturally produce vitamin D.

“For hundreds of thousands of years, man has lived with the sun: Our ancestors were outdoors far more often than indoors. We developed a dependence on sunshine for health and life, so the idea that sunlight is dangerous does not make sense. How could we have evolved and survived as a species, if we were that vulnerable to something humans have been constantly exposed to for their entire existence?”
~ Dr. Frank Lipman, internationally recognized expert in the fields of Integrative and Functional Medicine and practicing physician.

Does the body have to process vitamin D before it becomes active?  The body converts vitamin D, whether by mouth or made in the skin, to a compund called 25-hydroxyvitamin D 25(OH)D.  This compound circulates in the blood and is the measure physicians or scientists use to assess vitamin D status.  High levels of serum 25(OH)D show that you are getting enough vitamin D, while low levels indicate deficiency.

How much vitamin D do I need?  One of the only ways to determine for sure if you have adequate levels of vitamin D is from a blood test.  You can request one from your medical doctor or naturopath.  Once you get your results, ask them for the exact number because you want to be somewhere between 100-150nmol/L (40-60ng/ml in the US).  The following chart will show you that for the purpose of avoiding rickets (bone deformities caused by lack of vitamin D) you want to be above 50nmol/L (20ng/ml).  If your levels are 130 and above, you can decrease your chance of breast cancer by 83%.  It is important to take what is necessary to not only keep you above the rickets zone but in the cancer and disease fighting zone.  That is where I choose to be and it has taken me a dosage of about 12,000IU’s/day this winter to get at 153nmol/L.  I am not recommending you take this much but if you are deficient (in Canada, 97.7% of individuals are below 125nmol/L and 90% are below 100nmol/L), it is important to adjust your levels accordingly.  That is a lot of people who are deficient by these standards.  When you do start supplementing, your levels may spike more at the beginning and then slowly over the next few months.  It can take from 3-6 months to get your levels back up to the desired range.  If you don’t have the opportunity to get tested any time soon, you can take about 5,000IU/day as recommended by the vitamin D Council.  That is a good place to start.

How much do I need to take during pregnancy?  There isn’t a more important time to be sufficient in this essential nutrient than during a period where your body is literally making another human.  Once again, it is ideal to achieve the same levels of sufficiency of 100-150nmol/L.  It may just require a little more to do so since the demands in your body are higher during pregnancy.  Taking vitamin D supplements during pregnancy is not only safe for mother and baby, but also can prevent preterm labor/births and infections.  If you’re not getting tested, take the recommended dosage by the vitamin D council of 5,000IU’s/day.

Is Vitamin D safe?  When consumed in reasonable quantities, it is not only safe but essential to the proper function of every cell in the body.  It is instructive to know that outdoor workers have levels of 150-200nmol/L (60-80ng/ml) by the end of summer.  If taken in abnormally high doses, vitamin D can produce severe toxicity in the body.  There have been no reported cases of toxicity below a dosage of 40,000IU’s/day or a blood serum level of 500nmol/L (200ng/ml) .

What about calcium and vitamin D?  Vitamin D enables the body’s regulation of calcium absorption.  Inadequate intake of calcium or vitamin D will lead to insufficient calcium absorption.  Be sufficient in vitamin D so you can absorb the calcium from your food.

Is it important to take vitamin D daily?  As long as the total dose is sufficient, vitamin D does not have to be taken every day.  Some doctors prescribe weekly or monthly dosing.  The important thing is to achieve and maintain a range of 100-150nmol/L (40-60ng/ml).  I usually tell my patients to take their top 3 essential nutrients (vitamin D, omega 3 fish oil, and probiotics) together on a daily basis so they will remember and make it a habit.

Summary

  • vitamin D is an essential nutrient for proper function of each and every cell in the body
  • the majority of the world population is now considered deficient
  • the best source is from sunlight during the peak hours of the day (10am-2pm), in Canada and Northern US from May-September
  • 15 minutes with as much of the body exposed as possible in a light skinned individual can produce up to 15,000IU’s.  For darker skinned individuals, it takes twice as long.
  • Studies are now showing evidence beyond skeletal health with increased immune function and decreases in some cancers, MS, etc…
  • If you are in a Northern climate or not getting outdoors for sufficient amounts of time to naturally produce vitamin D, then supplement to get your body sufficient (between 100-150nmol/L).  This dose may vary widely but a good place to start is 5,000IU’s/day according to the Vitamin D Council.  Get tested by your doctor or naturopath to determine what your exact levels are.
  • For kids, they should be within the same range as adults and since their bodies are smaller, they may require less.  One rule of thumb is 75 IU/kg of body weight/day.  For instance if your child weighs 20kg, an amount of 1500IU/day may be sufficient.

 

 

Pizza (gluten-free)

On the weekends, we enjoy having a pizza night with the kids.  We usually try to get a gluten-free crust (Big Life in Halifax has a great one which is what I thought I bought, I accidentally bought one of their wheat crusts).  Jason was already underway with the preparations so we used our brown rice tortillas instead, such a great find!

Instructions:

  1. We purchased ours in the organic section at the grocery store, usually they’re in the freezer.  We keep ours in the freezer until they’re ready to be used.  Take out as many as you need and place them on the oven rack once it has warmed to 400F.  Keep them in until they are light brown and slightly crispy, Jason said it was about 5 minutes.
  2. Add about a tablespoon of coconut or olive oil to your frying pan and sautee 1 onion and 1 1/2 bell peppers.  Choose a tomato sauce, preferably one that doesn’t have sugar added.  Tomato sauce was one of the items on the list of 8 foods that had more sugar than a Twinkie along with yogurt etc…choose wisely.
  3. Remove the brown rice crusts from the oven when they are ready and with the back of a spoon, spread them with tomato sauce.  Add the sauteed vegetables and a meat you enjoy.  We have used nitrate-free lunch meat and other meats like chicken sausage from Blue Barn Farms, pepperoni from Meadowbrook Farms, whatever you enjoy.  Just slice it into little pieces and add it to each crust.
  4. This is the one day that we may also eat a little cheese (1-2x/month).  We usually get a brand that is raw (unpasteurized).  That way, it is a little easier to digest.  You can always get a grated cheese called Daiya (from tapioca) that tastes good and melts like cheese.  The unpasteurized brands, if they have them can usually be found in the organic section at the grocery store.  Cow’s from PEI also sells a brand that is at Pete’s Frootique that is unpasteurized as well.  Grate whichever cheese you choose and add it to the top of each mini pizza.
  5. Place the pizzas on a cookie sheet (with parchment paper underneath to avoid a mess) and keep them in the oven at 400F until the cheese has melted.  Watch them closely.  Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes.  Cut up into slices and you will have a very tasty meal.  Jason often cuts up pieces of cilantro to add to the top of them.

Meats

We always do our best to purchase meats that are grass-fed and free-range chickens/turkeys.  Local sources for most people include the farmer’s market in your town.  In Halifax, Nature’s Cove on the Bedford Hwy has meats from Blue Barn Farms.  You can also go to Blue Barn Farms and purchase your meat directly from them on Hammonds Plains Road.  Mariposa in Tantallon has meats from McNeill Farms which we thoroughly enjoy.

Carrot Banana Muffins

Love these muffins…they are so sweet and don’t have any refined sugar.  I actually forgot to add the cup of dates one of the times I made them.  I  preferred them this way and now choose to remove that ingredient whenever I make them. You can decide how sweet you want to have them but removing the cup of dates from the recipe is always an option.  Originally found the recipe on www.paleoplan.com

Ingredients

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 Tbs cinnamon
  • 1 cup dates, pitted
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 ½ cups carrots, shredded
  • ¾ cup walnuts, finely chopped
  • muffin paper liners

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350℉.
  2. In a small bowl, combine almond flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
  3. In a food processor, combine dates, bananas, eggs, vinegar and oil.
  4. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and blend until completely combined.
  5. Fold in carrots and walnuts.
  6. Spoon mixture into paper lined muffin tins.
  7. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes.

Cinnamon Rolls (grain-free, dairy-free)

This morning, I was up a little earlier than usual which allowed me to get an unusual amount of things done before the boys were up.  I thought there would be no better way to wake up on a weekend morning than to the smell of cinnamon rolls throughout the house.  So, I attempted this recipe from http://urbanposer.blogspot.ca/2012/04/best-almond-flour-cinnamon-rolls-paleo.html.  I must admit I was reluctant because I thought it might end up being quite messy having to roll the dough and all.  I was pleasantly surprised when the recipe turned out to be quite simple and easy.  My boys loved them!

Ingredients:
For the biscuit rolls
  • 3 cups plus 2 TBSP super fine almond flour (I make my own flour by first putting sliced almonds through the food processor.  Make sure you re-measure the amount of flour after the sliced almonds have been ground.  You may have to add a little more to make the desired amount of flour).
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or just slightly under that amount)
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2 TBSP honey
  • 2 large room temp eggs
For the filling
  • 1/4-1/2 cup honey (depending on how much sweetness you like)
  • 1/2 cup ground pecans/walnuts
  • 1/2 cup raisins (we used currants, a little lower on the glycemic index)
  • 1- 2 TBSP ground cinnamon
For the icing
  • 1/4 cup coconut butter at room temp (I bought my coconut butter at Planet Organic, I’m sure they have it available at most health food stores.  I heated mine slightly in a saucepan, just enough to lightly cover the few that we were going to eat at the time.  A couple of drops of vanilla stevia mixed in with 3-4 TBSP of coconut butter made it perfectly sweet).
  • optional honey for drizzling or stevia
In the spirit of keeping things lower in the sugar department (since there is already honey on the inside), we like to drizzle the cinnamon rolls with warmed coconut butter. When we want something a bit sweeter, we also drizzle a little honey on them or add some stevia to the coconut butter. However, if you try mixing the coconut butter with the honey, you will just get a thick paste.
Directions:
  1. Preheat heat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, salt and baking soda
  3. In a seperate bowl, gently beat together the coconut oil, honey, and eggs. If the eggs are too cold, they might cause the coconut oil to harden.
  4. Add the egg mixture to the almond flour mixture. Mix (knead) until a decently smooth dough is formed.
  5. On a large piece of parchment paper, roll the dough out into about a 9×13 rectangle. Use a little almond flour, if needed, to keep it from sticking to the rolling pin.
  6. Drizzle the 1/4-1/2 cup of honey evenly over the dough, then carefully spread it around to cover the whole surface. Honestly, I use my fingers to do this. I find that I am less likely to tear the dough this way.
  7. Sprinkle the raisins, grounds pecans and cinnamon over the surface of the honeyed dough.
  8. Now you’re ready to roll it up! Starting at the end closest to you, begin to roll the edge of the dough away from you. Try to start a tight roll from the beginning. Continue rolling until you have a nice uniform log. Use the parchment paper to help you roll if needed. Be gentle and careful when rolling up the dough. It is not as workable as a gluten based flour would be.
  9. Now roll the whole log of dough gently, lengthening it out just a bit (like making a snake out of play-dough). It is a good size when it is about a 4 inch round log.
  10. With a good bread knife, cut the roll into about 2 inch thick slices. I use the width of two fingers as my guide. Then lay them cut side down on to a parchment lined cookie sheet. They do best spaced a few inches apart, but not connected.
  11. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10-15 min. I suggest staying close to the stove and checking a few times while they are baking, as everyone’s oven cooks a bit differently. The rolls should be golden with a little browning at the top and the dough toward the center of the roll should be soft but not to doughy. If they bake too long they WILL become like hockey pucks! If cooked just right though, they will be heavenly.
  12. When ready, remove from the oven and let cool for at least 10 min. If you try to move them before then, they might break up. But if you wait for them to cool they will hold together beautifully.
  13. Drizzle with coconut butter and/or honey just before serving.

Makes about 9-10 cinnamon rolls.

What to expect? These cinnamon rolls, if baked right are soft and lovely. Since it is not a yeast or gluten based dough they will not have that ‘stretchy, pull apart’ feel that a yeast/gluten based roll would have. I would consider them to be more of a soft ‘biscuit’ style cinnamon roll and less sweet than the traditional cinnamon roll. Also, under baking slightly is FAR better than over baking as almond flour can burn and dry out if over baked. Everyone’s oven acts differently, so keep an eye on them and they should perform amazingly for you.

Chocolate Mousse

This dessert or snack to satisfy that chocolate craving is so creamy, you’ll never guess it’s made with avocado.

Ingredients

  • 2 avocado
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 3 TBSP of honey (more or less for desired sweetness)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2-3 TBSP hazelnut butter (optional to add in or to serve with it on the side to replicate a nutella-like flavour)

Directions

  1. Combine the above ingredients in a food processor.  Blend until the texture is fluffy like a mousse.  Refrigerate until it is time to serve.

Flourless Chocolate Cake/Cupcakes (black beans)

I made this as a birthday cake the other day and it was fabulous.  The best part is that compared to other chocolate cakes, it is much lower on the glycemic index, tastes just as good if not better, is extra moist, and very high in protein.  You may also feel good after eating it vs bloating with sugar high then low.  When the kids asked for seconds, I told them to go ahead, knowing it was actually good for them.  I doubled the following recipe to make it 2 layers.

Ingredients

Makes a 9″ one layer cake

  • 1-19 oz can (or approx. 2 cups) of unseasoned black beans (strained and rinsed)
  •  5 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 6 tablespoons coconut oil (melted)
  • 1/2 cup honey + either 1 teaspoon pure stevia extract (liquid vs powder) or 1TBSP of xylitol powder
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Mint Chocolate variation: 2 teaspoons mint extract (in place of 2 teaspoons vanilla)

Preparation

  1.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a 9″ cake pan with extra virgin olive oil cooking spray, or just grease it with a thin layer of butter. Dust cocoa all over the inside of the pan, tapping to evenly distribute. Cut a round of parchment paper and line the bottom of the pan, then spray the parchment lightly.
  2. Drain and rinse beans in a strainer or colander. Shake off excess water. Place beans, 3 of the eggs, vanilla, stevia (if using) and salt into blender. Blend on high until beans are completely liquefied. No lumps!
  3. Whisk together cocoa powder, baking soda, and baking powder. Mix together honey and coconut oil. Add remaining two eggs, beating for a minute after each addition. Pour bean batter into egg mixture and mix. Finally, stir in cocoa powder, and beat the batter on high for one minute, until smooth. Scrape batter into pan and smooth the top. Grip pan firmly by the edges and rap it on the counter a few times to pop any air bubbles.
  4. Bake for 40-45 minutes. Cake is done when the top is rounded and firm to the touch. After 10 minutes, turn out cake from pan, and flip over again on to a cooling rack. Let cool until cake reaches room temperature. You can then apply frosting as per the directions below.

I used my food processor and once I had strained the beans simply added all the wet ingredients and blended them together.  In another small bowl, I mixed the dry ingredients until well blended then added them to the wet ingredients in the food processor. In just a few minutes it was all mixed together very well and was ready to be put in the pans.

Healthy Chocolate CakeThe original recipe came from the website www.healthyindulgences.net.

Frosting

On the cupcakes, I put one square of 72% dark chocolate on each cupcake when I don’t have time to make a frosting (I buy a big bag of dark chocolates from Costco).  I put it on while the cupcakes are still warm to let it melt.

In this cake recipe I used a chocolate mousse recipe as the frosting and it turned out very well.  I also evenly placed some of the dark chocolates (from the bag I buy at Costco of 72% dark chocolate) in between the layers of the cakes while the cakes were warm.  The chocolate squares melted and tasted really good as the middle layer of the cake.  On its own, the following recipe makes a great chocolate mousse dessert.  Add a little hazelnut butter in it for a more nutella-like flavor.

Ingredients

    • 3 avocado
    • 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
    • 1/4 cup honey
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 4 drops of vanilla stevia (optional) for added sweetness (several teaspoons of xylitol powder can be used instead)
    • Blend the above ingredients together in the food processor and once it is the right texture of a fluffy mousse, refrigerate until ready to serve.  Since I used it this time as a frosting, I refrigerated the mousse until the cake was no longer warm  then spread it evenly over both layers.