Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Raw Milk Hot Cocoa (sugar free)

I've been making this hot cocoa all winter long; it's such a delicious and satisfying, sugar free treat to warm those bones when the temps dip low. And today was hopefully the last day I will be making hot cocoa for many, many months. We've been having such amazing spring weather lately that I didn't think I'd be making hot cocoa again until next winter. But for some reason, my son has been asking me to make him hot cocoa for three days now. I wasn't able to make it for him until today, when our raw milk supply was replenished. I thought I'd better document this recipe now so I won't have to fidget with the ingredient ratios again next winter.

A few notes about this hot cocoa: 1) Since we're using raw milk here, be sure to heat it on the very lowest possible setting on your stovetop to preserve as many of those healthful properties in the milk as you can. It really doesn't take long to get this yummy treat warm enough to enjoy, maybe five minutes, so be patient (i.e. no microwaving!) and the payoff will be worth it. 2) I like to thin my hot cocoa out with some water to save a little money (since raw milk can be a bit pricey), but if you like yours really creamy and thick, omit the water and use 1 3/4 cup raw milk, or use some raw cream in place of the water.

Raw Milk Hot Cocoa (sugar free)

1 cup raw milk
3/4 cup water
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
12 drops liquid stevia

Put all ingredients in a small saucepan. Turn heat on low and whisk thoroughly to combine. Cook over low heat for about five minutes, until desired temperature is reached, whisking occasionally.

Ladle into mugs and enjoy.

Serves two.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Warm Sweet Potato and Kale Salad

I've been rather uninspired in the cooking department lately. I literally sat outside for 25 minutes today thinking of what to make for dinner, and nothing came to mind.


This is not like me. Maybe it's the season, or the weather, or the fact that I haven't had any inspiring fresh produce the last few days... I'm really not sure. But nonetheless, we had to eat dinner, so I had to think of something...

So I went into my pantry and started foraging for dinner ingredients. My eyes landed on the sweet potatoes, which I love. But I didn't want to just fix them in the same old boring way (even as delicious as this boring way is): roasted wedges. I wanted to turn them into a delicious salad, a warm salad, the perfect kind of salad for spring weather.

Finally, inspiration! This recipe just sort of came to life, and I decided it needed to be documented on this blog, especially considering I may find myself in a un-inspirational mood in the not-so-distant-future.

With it's delicious blend of spicy (thanks, ginger) and sweet (thanks, sweet potatoes and cinnamon), this salad will knock you off your feet. I'm especially fond of how the cooked sweet potatoes lightly "cook" the baby kales to take off their raw edge and make them all yummy and soft.

Hopefully it will please your palate as much as it did mine.

Warm Sweet Potato and Kale Salad

2 medium sweet potatoes
4 cups baby kales (or spinach, or torn swiss chard)
1 Granny Smith apple

1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 minced clove garlic
1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (ACV)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
10 drops liquid stevia
salt, pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

Chop sweet potatoes into bite sized pieces and place in medium pot. Cover sweet potatoes with water and bring to a boil. Turn heat to medium-low and gently boil for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, place baby kales in a large bowl. Chop Granny Smith apple and add to baby kales.

Mix all dressing ingredients (ginger through salt and pepper) in a small bowl. Slowly stream in the EVOO until emulsified.

When the sweet potatoes are done, drain and immediately place on top of the baby kales and apple. Let rest for a few minutes, until the warm sweet potatoes turn the baby kales bright green and semi-wilted.

Add the dressing and toss to coat.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Coconut Brownie Power Bites

The quest for yet more great snacks has led me to create a new power bite recipe (see my other power bite recipe here). You can't help but just love these. They're raw, refined sugar free, full of protein and fiber and omega-3's... and they will get you pumped up with energy too. These make a great pre- and post- workout treat.

Did I mention they're also super kid-friendly? My kids would eat and eat and eat these babies, all in one sitting, if I let them. Instead, I allow them the indulgence of one or two of these healthy treats for a bedtime snack, and feel no pangs of guilt whatsoever. It truly brings a smile to my face when I know my kids are eating healthy and loving it.

Coconut Brownie Power Bites

3 cups walnuts
3 cups Medjool dates
1/4 cup shredded coconut
2 tablespoons coconut oil, liquified
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
pinch cinnamon and salt

Grind walnuts to a coarse grind in a food processor. Add dates and pulse for 30 seconds to a minute, until a dough-like consistency is achieved. Add shredded coconut, coconut oil, cocoa powder, cinnamon and salt and pulse again until all ingredients are incorporated evenly.

With a small spoon, scoop out the dough and, with your hands, form into balls of desired size. Store in the refrigerator.

Did I mention my kids love these?!