Açaí Bowl

I adore açaí bowls. So yummy that I decided to figure out more on what it means to make and eat one.

Açaí is similar to other berries in that it has lots of antioxidants. But if really wanting high antioxidants, go for the wild blueberry. Açaí can be found in a powder or as a pulp in the freezer section.

The other thing I learned is that many bowls have quite a bit of sweetener added. It makes the experience taste like ice cream, but be mindful of the sweetener. An açaí bowl that is more true to the flavor of the açaí fruit will be more tart.

I picked a tart approach and this is what you will need:

2 sleeves of frozen açaí pulp

1 ripe banana divided in half

1/4 cup milk alternative, I used soy

Toppings, I used a 1/2 Tablespoon of chia and 1/4 cup of my oil free granola

Blend half the banana with the açaí from 2 sleeves of frozen pulp and 1/4 cup soy milk until smooth. Pour blended açaí into bowl and slice the other half of banana onto the top. I made a row of banana slices down the middle of the bowl. To one side of the banana I added a row of chia and the opposite side got a 1/4 cup of oil free granola.

There is lots of room to be creative with the toppings of an açaí bowl. All kinds of fresh and dried fruit, nuts, and chocolate can be added to the top. Have some fun with it. Yummers!

Advertisements

Oil Free Blueberry Chia Granola

I’m trying to cut oil out of my diet to see what happens. It gets me closer to a Whole Foods Plant Based diet and has so far been a fun journey. I’m not an extremes person, so it’s just a fun personal challenge.

Hubby really enjoys granola for breakfast and I adore it on an açaí bowl. But most granola has oil and the few I have tried that didn’t, were not very tasty. I thought maybe I could figure this out myself. It’s yummers!

What you need:

1 and 3/4 to two cups rolled oats, uncooked

1 cup puffed rice cereal

1 Tablespoon chia seeds

1/4 cup freeze dried blueberries, any dried fruit will work

1/2 cup quality dark maple syrup

If you want cinnamon, I didn’t, then a 1/2 teaspoon will work

Preheat oven to 375. Mix everything together in a large bowl so there is plenty of room to get maple syrup on everything.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and pile on the granola. Try to get about a 1/4 inch layer. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes. Until the edges begin to brown.

Remove from oven and let cool completely. Break up everything with fingers and move to an airtight container.

As with most things, the longer you take to eat it, the more stale it will get. Especially since there are no preservatives or oil.

Yummers!

So Delicious CocoWhip


Yummers!!

Don’t have time to whip up your own coconut milk whipped cream? No problem, So Delicious has you covered. And it’s yummers. I quick made some berry layers for dessert and hubby was thrilled.

There is also a low-fat option, but I don’t worry about the good fats from coconut milk. On top of that, I have been reading lots about how low-fat options are not healthier. They tend to have more sugar or chemicals to provide a desired flavor. As always, it’s more about eating unprocessed foods.

Blueberry Lemon Scones

2013-06-09 10.33.23

 

I adore these scones and have been making them for years. They bring literal tears to hubby’s eyes when he eats them. I only use fresh fruit because I have found that frozen or bottled changes the texture or flavor too much. What you will need:

1 cup white whole wheat flour

1 cup unbleached flour

1 TBS baking powder

3 TBS sugar

1/2 tsp salt

5 TBS cold non-hydrogenated margarine cut into 1/4 inch cubes

Zest from one lemon

1/2 cup fresh blueberries

Less than 1 cup soy milk

3/8 cup powdered sugar

1/2 TBS fresh lemon juice, I always use the lemon that was just zested

Adjust oven rack to middle and heat to 425.

Sift together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in large bowl. With two knives or a pastry blender, cut margarine into the flour mixture. It should look like a coarse meal. Stir in the lemon zest and make a well in the mixture. Pour in the soy milk and mix just until it starts to form dough. This is a very sensitive dough and being mindful of not stirring too much is a good thing. Gently stir in the blueberries and begin to gently kneed with hands. Again, very little. Just enough to make a slightly sticky dough. If too thin, add more flour. If too thick, add more soy milk. Move dough to parchment paper and gently form into a cylinder, about an inch tall. Cut into eight wedges and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake until light brown, about 12-15 minutes. Cool on wire rack for at least 10 minutes before adding icing.

Sift powdered sugar into a small bowl and add lemon juice. Stir until creamy. Carefully ice scones. The warm scones will help melt the icing into place. If making scones in the winter, icing can be warmed in the microwave for about five seconds to make spreading easier.

These are best when fresh, but easily enjoyed for several hours. Yummy!

Chokeberry Bread

2013-09-08 17.35.13

 

Aronia berries, also known as chokeberries or even choke cherries, grow wild and have a bitter flavor. The CSA delivered about a cup worth, much to my surprise and excitement. I had been hearing about these since moving to the midwest, but had never seen or eaten them. Of course, once I had some, I had to figure out what to do with them. I’m always up for a cooking challenge and this bread was excellent. What you need:

1 cup white whole wheat flour

1 cup unbleached flour

1 cup sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

2 TBS butter flavored non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening

2 TBS cold water

The zest from one orange

The juice from the same orange + 1/4 cup fresh orange juice, from an orange

1 cup chopped pecans

1 cup fresh chokeberries, sliced in half

Canola oil spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a bread pan with canola oil. Pour dry ingredients into a bowl and stir to mix and add air. Add shortening and mash with a fork until well mixed. Stir in orange zest. Add water and orange juice and mix well. Stir in pecans and chokeberries. Pour into bread pan and bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool a few minutes before turning over to separate the bread from the pan. Yum!

Tip: If you get whole pecans like I do, place the amount needed in a small paper or plastic bag, seal, and run over the nuts with a rolling pin until the nut size desired is created.

 

Easy Potluck

2013-08-17 18.48.43

 

Sometimes when I hear the word potluck, I panic just a bit. I want to bring something that everyone will enjoy, but I don’t always have time to make something incredible. This was very true a few weeks ago.

I came up with this solution and had very little to bring home with me. I thought, everyone likes fruit, but fruit trays don’t always do well. What if I present the fruit a little different and add some different yummy nuts? It worked great. I used fresh red grapes, cut the stems so that four to six grapes could be picked up at a time, beautiful fresh strawberries, and sweetened dehydrated cranberries. To these I added plain pecans and tamari cashews. Then, to add a little extra sweet, dark chocolate covered almonds. It was a big hit and I was less stressed.

Rhubarb and Strawberry Pie

2013-06-23 10.32.20

Our CSA provided rhubarb one week and strawberries the next. I have to be honest, my rhubarb pies in the past have not been good. I was very worried about attempting a new one. Luckily, a friend shared a rhubarb tip and this pie was incredible.

4 cups washed and diced fresh rhubarb

1 cup washed and diced fresh strawberries

1 TBS margarine

1 and 1/3 cups sugar plus more for preparing the rhubarb

6 TBS flour

2 of your favorite pie crusts

Start by preparing the rhubarb a few days ahead. Once cleaned and chopped, I place the rhubarb in a bowl and mixed in enough sugar to coat. Then I placed the bowl in the fridge for 24 hours to let the tart juice drain from the rhubarb. The next day I drained the rhubarb and placed in a freezer safe dish with lid and froze. When I was finally ready to make my pie, I placed the rhubarb back in the fridge to thaw.

Preheat oven to 400. Prepare your favorite pie crusts and place the bottom layer in the pie pan. Combine sugar and flour and evenly pour about 1/4 of it into the pie pan. Drain the rhubarb again and measure how much rhubarb there is. Add diced fresh strawberries to the rhubarb until there is 4 cups of filling. Pour filling into pie pan and sprinkle remaining sugar and flour mixture over the filling. Randomly dot the top with margarine. Cover pie with second crust and make sure there are vents for steam to escape. Place pie on lowest oven rack and bake for 15 minutes. Lower oven temperature to 350 and bake another 40 to 45 minutes. Look for thick bubbles from the filling but no burnt crust to know when done.

Serve hot or cold. Extra yummy with a scoop of vanilla vegan ice cream or coconut cream (see parfet recipe). Enjoy!

Fruit Parfet

2013-06-04 18.54.59

 

If looking for an easy, delicious, and visually stunning dessert, this is the one. What you will need:

1 can full-fat coconut milk, only the thick white part

3 TBS powdered sugar

Seasonal fruit, washed and prepared into bit-size pieces

Granola

Place the thick white coconut milk in a medium mixing bowl with the sugar. Mix on high for at least 3 minutes, or until very fluffy. Start with a first layer of fruit in the serving dish and coconut cream as the second layer, repeat this pattern until the serving dish is almost full. To the top add a short layer of granola. Enjoy!