Sunday, April 21, 2019

A Gray Day and a Dairy Free Chocolate Cafe au Lait

So, at the moment, I'm eating in the style of Low Fodmap.  I'm not eating regular sugar.  Or dairy.  Or caffeine.  Or a bunch of other things...

It's a gray day here in Kirkland and our apartment is chilly.  Hubby is sipping on coffee and I'm craving something warm and delish.  A latte would be totally amazing right now.  Hubby offers to walk down to the coffee shop with me so I can get one, but I know the "alternative milks" at the local coffee shops all have sugar or carrageenan, or something else that isn't so good for the gut, so I shake my head.  I could just go for my normal drink and have a cuppa herbal tea, but now lattes are floating around in my head.  

What's a girl to do?




Then I remember I have some instant decaf in the cupboard.  (It's actually pretty good for instant...and for decaf.)  And then I remember I bought some unsweetened, carrageenan-free vanilla almond milk the other day...  My face brightens.  I can make something Latte-ish at home!  

Yay! 

But now, how do I make it extra delish?  A little creamy and a little sweet?  Maybe even, dare I say it, chocolatey?  

Well, I've got some Montezuma's Absolute Black Dark Chocolate (100% cocoa solids)...not a diet food, by any means, but it IS milk and sugar free!

And I've also got some Lakanto Liquid Monkfruit Extract (zero calories, zero glycemic, doesn't elevate blood sugar or insulin) in the fridge.  

I think this is doable.

Here's what I came up with.  (And by the way, it totally hit the spot!  Even more so the next day when I made it with half a date rather than monkfruit extract!)

I kinda didn't measure, so I'm guessing a bit---plus it depends on how big your mug is, if you like your Cafe au Lait chocolate forward or coffee forward, and how sweet you like your stuff...so adjust as needed!  :)  Please read all the directions FIRST!  


Day 1 with Monkfruit Extract



Day 2 with 1/2 Date (Much better IMHO)

Chocolate Cafe au Lait Sans Milk


Equipment:

  • Small pot with high edges
  • Immersion Blender
  • Large mug


Ingredients:

  • 14 oz almond milk or other non-dairy milk (I used Malk's Organic Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk*)  
  • 2-2.5 tsp instant decaf coffee (or regular if you like high octane)
  • 1 square Montezuma's Absolute Black Dark Chocolate 
  • 1-2 DROPS Lakanto Liquid Monkfruit Extract**  OR half of a date (Or other sweetener YOU like!)
  • Sprinkle of Cinnamon

Directions:
  1. Gently heat your almond milk in a small pot with high edges
  2. Once warm, add instant coffee and stir
  3. Add your dark chocolate, stir again until the chocolate melts
  4. Add Monkfruit extract (or other sweetener--1/2 a date worked really well and still keeps it fairly low fodmap!)
  5. When hot, remove from heat.  
  6. If you like a foamy drink or if you added a date, CAREFULLY use your immersion blender to blend until foamy.  Tip:  Tilt pan (so the liquid all goes to one side) and be sure your immersion blender is fully submerged before turning on so you don't splatter and burn yourself! 
  7. Pour into your favorite mug and sprinkle with cinnamon!
  8. Enjoy! 
*Malk is one of my favorite almond milk brands because it doesn't add any crazy carrageenan, gums, colors, sugars, etc.  I thought is was stupid expensive the first time I bought it, but when you compare it to the cost of a coffee-shop latte, you actually SAVE money!  Plus, Whole Foods often has it on sale (and if you're a Prime member, you get extra discounts!)

**If you've never used Lakanto Liquid Monkfruit Extract, please be warned that a little goes a long way and you're better off using 1 drop, tasting, and adding more if needed.  It's pretty strong.  If you don't like liquid monkfruit (cuz for me it has a weird aftertaste), you can of course, use a different sweetener of your choice (coconut sugar, stevia, agave, or soak half a date and blend along with your completed cafe au lait!) or just leave out sweetener completely!


Cheers!
Dorothy




Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Brownies Made with Black Beans--Yay or Nay?

So I have a lot of favorite "Health People" online--Andrea Beaman, Mark Hyman, Dr. Axe, Vani Hari (Food Babe)Bree Argetsinger (The "Betty Rocker")...the list goes on!  

One of my favorite "Health People" is Talia Pollock, the "Party in my Plants" girl, the girl who "Takes the Hell out of Healthy Living". I mean, c'mon, when you have a tagline like that, how can anyone resist reading more?  The girl just cracks me up!  She's got a great sense of humor and totally rocks recipes for healthy eating!  If you're trying to bring more veggies into your life, check her out!

Anyway...I digress. I signed up for Talia's newsletter, and in her last one, she shared a recipe for "Fooled Ya" Brownies.  Brownies made with no grains, no eggs (good for vegans!), not a whole bunch of sugar, and no oil!  Plus, they're made with black beans--helloooo protein and fiber! 
 Now in her newsletter, Talia swore up and down about how delish these were and how you could make them and fool all the health food haters in your life because these Black Bean Brownies taste just like the real thing (you know, the yummy tasting brownies made with crazy amounts of oil and sugar, white flour, artificial colorings, flavorings, and other nasty junk?).  So I HAD to make them.

What did I think?  


I'm not the best at photos, but this is what the "Fooled Ya" Brownies looked like, right out of the pan!  Pretty good, right?

I thought they were totally amazing!  Totally fudgy, great texture, and just enough sweetness when you add the chocolate chips (I used mini dairy-free ones)!  A total win!  

Now this being said, I don't eat a lot of sugar or sweets anymore.  Not 'cuz I don't like them, but because I'm trying to re-balance and heal my gut which has been a mess since I was a kid.  So...I have given up eggs and dairy (since I recently found out I'm "allergic" to them) and I RARELY have added sugar of any kind because sugar is not friendly to an unhappy gut.  Plus I mostly stay away from gluten (another gut irritant).  So brownies aren't typically a food I eat.  

So are these "Fooled Ya Brownies" REALLY good, or is it just me?  I had to call in a pro for a second opinion.  

Now, my dear sweet Hubby is a brownie connoisseur.  He even has his own brownie pan that only makes brownies with edges (no "middle pieces").  He believes a good brownie must have edges!  

Image result for the edge brownie pan
"The Baker's Edge" Brownie Pan

Unfortunately, when I made these "Fooled Ya" Brownies, Hubby knew I wasn't making "NORMAL" brownies, so when I gave him one, he immediately stuck up his nose...

"Is there seaweed in there?  Quinoa?  Kale?  What's in there?  I'm not eating that! GROSS!"

And then he proceeded to make loud gagging sounds.

Related image

Sigh. Definitely NOT an unbiased opinion!   

Ugh!  Now I STILL don't know if they're as good as I think they are!  

So I need a little help...  

I'm calling all you adventurous eaters.
  
You "health nuts".
  
My Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Gluten Free Friends.

Those of you who aren't afraid to eat whole, real foods, in new and exciting ways! 


I need you to make this "Fooled Ya" Brownie recipe from Talia Pollock and tell me what you think.  See if you can find some friends to share them with (and don't tell them they're made with beans until after you've asked them what they thought!).  I'm so curious!  

I'll be waiting to hear your opinion!!!

Until then, 

dorothy

PS
Talia also has a Blondie recipe made with chickpeas.  Yes, I said chickpeas (AKA garbanzo beans).  I need to try this one too!  :)