Friday, October 31, 2014

RAW Chocolate Pudding (Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Refined Sugar-free)

I think this qualifies as raw. None of the ingredients are cooked at all so we'll just assume it is. It could also qualify as Paleo, if you're not hardcore and you still eat a bit of honey every now and again. I've been dealing with a cold all this week, which I think is actually worse than my annual bout with the flu mainly because nobody feels quite as sorry for me and any improvement is so incremental that it's barely noticeable, whereas when you have the flu and your head clears even for just a few minutes you feel like you've just won the lottery. I had an afternoon class yesterday and came home feeling pretty bad.
   Anyway, you can add more or less cocoa powder depending on how chocolate-y you want it to be. I love that this doesn't leave me feeling heavy like egg-and dairy-based pudding does. For a snack, it's pretty hard to beat, too:)

Raw Chocolate Pudding (v, gf, df,sf, Paleo)

3 ripe avocados, peeled and pitted
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2- 3/4 c almond milk (you can substitute coconut milk if you're allergic to nuts)
1/2 c raw honey
A dash of cinnamon
Pinch of salt?
Berries or pomegranate seeds to top it with

Blend all ingredients except the berries until completely smooth, chill until ready to serve!

Orange-Cranberry Cake (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)

Fall. My favorite time of the year. I like spring, but there is something about opening the windows and pulling out the blankets for the first time after a long, hot summer that makes Fall so appealing. Summer here usually lasts well into October, sometimes November, but I have pulled out the blankets and tonight it's supposed to be 35 degrees. Not bad.
   Latest development: these last couple of weeks have brought a little bit of stress -readjusting to home life after an amazing vacation, applying for a new job, trying to finish an article for a website I'm going to start contributing to, and heading up a debate team for school- and I'm not sleeping properly, so lo and behold my system is not tolerating grains. I've been pushing it- on vacation I ate my way to the moon and back, mostly pizza, and gained 6 pounds in 2 weeks, and even though I lost it all and then some within just a few days of my return, my eating habits themselves sadly haven't improved much. Halloween candy doesn't seem to help. I've been needing to clean up for a while and now it's reached a point where I'm ready to fully commit. So into the kitchen I go.
   I'm not a huge fan of pasta or bread, but sweets are the death of me. Especially now, when I like turning on the oven. Today I borrowed a recipe from Kimberley at The Year in Food, it's for a brunch-y-type cake but I made it just for fun and ate some for a snack. I mostly wanted to see how it would turn out since it's made with just almond flour. It's not dairy-free, but you could swap out the butter for Earth Balance natural shortening and make it legit. (Note: it's expensive but not nearly as expensive as butter right now. And it's organic.) You could also swap out the brown sugar for coconut crystals if you're an overachiever.

Orange Cranberry Brunch Cake (Gluten-Free)

2 cups almond flour
2/3 c brown sugar
2 tsp each ginger and cinnamon
1/2 tsp each cloves and nutmeg
1/2 tsp each baking soda and salt
1 tsp baking powder
3 beaten eggs
1/4 c melted sweet cream butter or Earth Balance natural shortening
zest of 2 oranges or 1 Meyer lemon (lemon gives a different flavor but it's lighter and it's really good)
3 tbsp fresh orange juice
1 1/2 c whole cranberries
sliced almonds
rice flour for dusting the pan

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, grease and flour an 8-inch cake pan. Combine the dry ingredients, set aside. Whisk together the eggs, juice, and zest, temper the eggs and then slowly whisk in the butter. Add to the dry ingredients and beat until just moistened, fold in the cranberries. Spread into the prepared pan, top with sliced almonds. Bake 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out of the center mostly clean. Cool 15 minutes before slicing, dust with powdered sugar if desired, and serve. It'll probably be crumbly, but deal with it. Store leftovers in an airtight container.