Maca Maple Flax Cookies

Photo 2015-02-12, 11 37 15 AM
So it has taken me a lot longer than most healthy foodies to get on board the maca train. When it comes to superfoods it can get VERY overwhelming. I mean, how many powders can one possibly pack into a smoothie? With a packed pantry and a practically empty wallet, I told myself…NO. MORE. Superfoods! BUT here I am today of course making maca cookies. When I first learned about maca, I knew one of its main benefits was that it would provide energy. For me, my morning coffee did the trick. But now with my crazy schedule, I find myself low on energy by the end of the day and need some sort of pick me up. I like to stick to one coffee a day, so I decided it was time to give Maca a try. Ok so here are the official details about Maca:

Maca is a plant that grows in central Peru in the high plateaus of the Andes mountains.According to Web MD, Maca is used for “tired blood” (anemia); chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS); and enhancing energy, stamina, athletic performance, memory, and fertility. Women use maca for female hormone imbalance, menstrual problems, and symptoms of menopause. Maca is also used for weak bones (osteoporosis), depression, stomachcancer, leukemia, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, erectile dysfunction (ED), to arouse sexual desire, and to boost the immune system.

Sounds pretty fantastic, right? Maca has a caramel/butterscotch flavour that I felt would match perfectly with maple. These cookies are so incredibly soft with a really sweet maple flavour. These cookies are a delicious way to get your maca intake without having to throw another powder into your smoothie, plus I can easily get my energy boost on the go. You can throw these together in 5-10 minutes and have an energy boosting treat to last you for days (if you can control yourself!) Along with the benefits of maca, you’ll get lots of skin enriching vitamin E from the almonds, and omega 3 crunch from the flax seeds. As always this recipe is gluten, dairy and refined sugar free! Make something sweet for your loved one, Happy Valentines Day!
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Ingredients:

• 2 cups almond flour
• 1/2 cup flaxseeds (milled or whole.. both work great!)
• 2 heaped tbsp maca powder (can find it at any health food store)
• pinch of sea or pink himalayan salt
• 1/2 tsp gluten free baking powder
• 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
• 1/2 cup pure maple syrup (#2 amber is best, the darker kind)
• 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
• 1 egg

Makes about 18-20 cookies

Directions:

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment and grease with coconut oil.

2. In a medium bowl, melt your coconut oil. Allow to cool for a few minutes and then whisk in maple syrup, vanilla and one egg.

3. To this bowl, add your almond flour, flaxseeds, maca powder, baking powder and salt. Stir until well combined.

4. Scoop the dough using a cookie scoop or tablespoon and roll into balls. Place onto baking sheet. Using a fork or your fingers press the dough down slightly.

5. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden. Allow to cool and store in an airtight container for up to two weeks!

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Photo 2015-02-12, 11 37 57 AM

Broccoli, Shallot and Potato Frittata

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After seeing Gordon Ramsay make a beautiful fritatta look easy and insanely delicious, I decided it was time to attack one myself. I love cooking and baking when we head up to Zach’s parents country house. With a cozy fire and a wintery atmosphere, all you want to do is eat delicious and comforting meals. What’s great about a frittata is that it feeds a crowd, and can be packed with almost any ingredient you want. You don’t have to make a side of scrambled eggs, sausage, potatoes etc… just throw it all in there! Although it is best eaten fresh, you can easily prepare this the evening before and warm it in the oven before serving. I actually ate this for brunch AND an afternoon snack in the same day. It was THAT good. I served it with a crunchy salad with a simple drizzle of good quality (I sound like Ina Garten) extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. It made a perfect filling and light meal without any gluten, dairy or refined sugars.

Health Benefits of Eggs:

Egg yolks are one of the richest dietary sources of the B-complex vitamin choline, which is associated with better neurological function and reduced inflammation.Egg yolks also contain two carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin, which protect against vision loss. Egg whites are PACKED with protein to help keep you feeling full and stabilize blood sugars. Try and buy organic, free range eggs for superior quality, taste and nutritional benefits!
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Ingredients:

• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 3 shallots finely chopped
• 3/4 cup broccoli, stems removed and cut into small pieces
• 1 medium potato cut into cubes
• 8 eggs
• 4 egg whites
• 1/2 cup finely chopped basil
• pinch of chilli flakes (optional)
• salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients:

1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Whisk eggs and egg whites in a medium bowl until frothy. Then mix in basil and season with salt and pepper.

2. Over medium-high heat, heat olive oil in an ovenproof skillet. Sautée onion, broccoli and potatoes until they begin to soften; about 3-5 minutes.

3. Add egg mixture and stir until evenly combined.

4. Allow to cook, shaking pan occasionally allow egg to set around edges, about 3-4 minutes.

5. Transfer skillet to oven and cook frittata until top is puffed and completely set, 10–13 minutes.

6. I chose to serve mine straight from the skillet, but feel free to remove with a spatula and transfer to a serving dish. Remember the skillet is hot!! Leave a mit or dishtowel around the handle to avoid any accidents!Dd-auIPZfpCBGqwvZTyOusPZUzLZCD7kdnO-4ZRRnQ8xx1tyELrWr3X8h2di-D4vaZOUzt7mGf5nj5SS_KjLlA4o8GGpZnUHGS9_q5DjZK1pqvG7jJpxgzANbNU1gyvEAwVvrws85RcITZKq-HhMQL4S7gXyvvS6KUxlgflmBkBE

Zach enjoying his brunch!

Zach enjoying his brunch!

Zach and Freddy

Zach and Freddy

Caramelized Banana ‘Ice Cream’ Pie

Photo 2014-09-09, 4 58 38 AMI often find myself having the urge to cook or bake and I love when I get to share my creations with friends and family. My man and I were invited to a friends for dinner, and instead of bringing the expected bottle of wine, I wanted to bring something homemade. I find it really nice to bring something you have taken the time to make when invited to a friends or family for a meal. Whether you bring your infamous, jam, granola or even salad dressing, I think it shows you have made the extra effort. Even making a cake from a box counts as homemade in my books! Bringing a homemade gift is personal and can be shared by all your guests!

With that said, I normally contribute to a dinner with a sweet ending. It was cold and rainy outside the day of the dinner and I had zero interest in going to the grocery store. So as always, I looked at what I had in the pantry and got to work. I had tons of super ripe bananas (as per usual) and I wanted to make something other than my Cinnamon Bun Banana Bread. I thought it would be a good idea to make a delicious banana cream pie. So, I began mixing my coconut cream, ripe bananas, vanilla etc.. and I put the finished product into the freezer to get it to solidify quicker. After bringing it to guests, everyone said they preferred it frozen then in its creamy state, so… the banana ‘ice cream’ pie was born!

Not only is this pie insanely delicious, it is also gluten, dairy and refined sugar free… oh and vegan! It is the perfect dessert to close our summer before we start all craving hot apple pies and rice puddings.The caramelized banana pieces in the centre are too die for! And even those who weren’t crazy about coconut couldn’t get enough of the coconut crust. What is best about this pie is that it is super easy to put together and only involves around 15 minutes of baking time. All you need is a good blender or food processor and the work is done for you! I served mine with some delicious coconut milk ice cream and raspberries but in truth, it really doesn’t need it. Bon appetit!
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Crust Ingredients:

• 2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
• 1/4 cup egg whites
• juice of half a lemon
• 1/2 cup coconut sugar
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 1 pinch salt

Filling Ingredients:

• 4-5 very ripe bananas
• about 1/2 cup coconut cream (preferably organic)
• 1 cup coconut yogurt (you can find this in most grocery stores in the health section)
• 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
• 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
• pinch of salt
• 1 tbsp coconut oil
• 1 tsp coconut sugar
• 2 tsp cinnamon (divided)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Mix all crust ingredients in a medium sized bowl and pour into a well greased pie dish. I greased mine with coconut oil. Press down evenly and bake for about 15 minutes or until golden. Allow to cool.

3. While the crust is baking start preparing your filling. In a blender or food processor, put all but one banana, coconut cream, maple syrup, coconut yogurt, 1 tsp cinnamon, vanilla and salt. Pulse or blend until well combined and creamy. Put mixture in the fridge.

4. In a pa on medium high heat, allow coconut oil to melt. Slice one banana and carefully place into the oil. Sprinkle the bananas with coconut sugar and cinnamon while in the pan. Allow to cook on each side for at least 5 minutes or until golden and caramelized. You can use an offset spatula to flip each one. Set aside.

5. Pour half of the filling into pie crust. Spread caramelized bananas all around. Pour the remaining batter over the bananas. It is ok if you find the caramelized bananas have floated to the top. Simply push them down. Place pie in freezer and allow to set for at least 2-3 hours. It is best to make this the day before you need it or in the morning to ensure it freezes in time.

6. To serve, allow to sit at room temperature for five minutes. Dip a sharp knife in hot water to cut through. Enjoy!

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