Chunky Coconut Granola (Clean)

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How is it already Saturday? I was so looking forward to using this October break productively. I was going to finish all my college essays and come up with a Math IA topic and finish my Extended Essay and study for my upcoming math integration test and my psychology socio-cultural level of analysis test and get started on writing my psych IA and oh god I’ve done nothing. Well, then again, I didn’t do nothing. I mean, I did watch more movies than I’d normally watch in half a year, and I finished a book. Oh – and I ate a lot of food. That counts for something, right?

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I just read my first Lee Child book – Killing Floor. It’s the first book in the Jack Reacher series and I have to admit that I was mildly disappointed. Maybe my expectations were too high, or maybe the book just wasn’t as good as it’s hyped up to be. I watched the movie afterwards, which was based on a different book in the series, and I feel like I could pretty much predict aspects of every story in the series. Always has to be a damsel in distress (or any hostage really), a betrayal, a car being tailed, and Reacher shoving his thumbs in someone’s eyes. Has anyone read the whole series? Am I close?

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Oops I haven’t even told you anything about this recipe yet. I’m tired and cold. Forgive me.

Now, I have a lot of granola recipes, but this one is definitely a favourite. I’m not usually the biggest fan of coconut-flavored things, but this is seriously amazing. The granola is suuper chunky. You know granola’s gonna be chunky when the whole sheet of it just sticks together and you can break it into chunks as big as you’d like. Check this out (warning – bad quality phone pictures incoming):

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“Is that what I think it is?” YES. It’s a giant sheet of granola. You could’ve broken it in half and called it reaaally chunky granola.

Point is, this granola gives you the clusters of your dreams, and is infused with such an aromatic and sweet coconut flavour that you will not be able to resist.

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Chunky Coconut Granola

Adapted from Minimalist Baker

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups (135g) old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup (40g) toasted and salted coconut flakes
  • 3/4 cup (80g) raw almonds, chopped
  • 1/4 cup (25g) raw pecans, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon (12g) coconut sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons (45ml) coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) maple syrup or honey
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius or 325 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the oats, coconut flakes, almonds, pecans, coconut sugar, and salt
  3. In a small saucepan, heat the coconut oil and maple syrup over low heat and whisk until fully combined. Add in the vanilla sugar and whisk to combine.
  4. Pour the coconut oil mixture over the dry ingredients and stir together until the dry ingredients are thoroughly coated in the coconut oil mixture
  5. Spread the granola mixture evenly on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet and bake for approximately 20 minutes. At 20 minutes, turn the pan around so that the granola bakes evenly, and bake for another 5-7 minutes. Granola has a tendency to be a little unpredictable in the oven, so keep and eye on it to make sure it doesn’t burn.
  6. When the granola is golden brown, remove from oven and allow it to cool completely before breaking it into chunks. Store in an airtight container at room temperature. Enjoy!

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Raspberry Chocolate Truffle Tart (Cheat)

This is probably the most photogenic thing I’ve ever baked.

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So yeah…lots of photos in this post. Enjoy.

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I went to a Simple Plan concert on Sunday! It’s the third SP concert that I’ve been to and it was incredible, just as it always was. The only downside is that 90 minutes speeds by when you’re singing at the top of your lungs and getting lost in the lyrics and music of the band that means the world to you.

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My whole weekend, in fact, was pretty great. On Saturday, I finished my Extended Essay draft in the morning and finished off decorating a layer cake for my brother and his friend’s birthday dinner. One of my favourite things to do is making layer cakes (alongside decorating cupcakes, of course).

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But anyways, these tarts were seriously one of the best things I’ve ever made. They have a perfect flavour balance and are wonderfully decadent. They start off with a classic biscuit base – and who doesn’t love a good biscuit base??

Then they’re filled with this gorgeously smooth chocolate filling and baked, giving them a texture like no other tart or cake or pie that you’ve ever had before. They’re truly quite unique.

And then, they’re topped off with a silky chocolate ganache and fresh, fruity raspberries.

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This, my friends, is what I call perfection.

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Raspberry Chocolate Truffle Tart

Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 1 1/2 cup digestive biscuit crumbs
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted

Filling:

  • 350ml whipping cream
  • 250g dark chocolate (70%)
  • 5ml pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar

Ganache:

  • 100g dark chocolate
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • Fresh raspberries
  • Shredded coconut (optional)

Method

  1. For the base, mix the biscuit crumbs and melted butter together until fully combined. Press into mini cake tins and/or a lined muffin tray
  2. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius or 355 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes. Allow to cool before filling.
  3. For the filling, break the chocolate into pieces in a bowl.
  4. In a saucepan, bring the cream to a simmer and pour over the chocolate. Allow to sit for 5 minutes before stirring until the chocolate is completely melted.
  5. Add in the vanilla extract, icing sugar, and eggs until fully combined
  6. Pour the filling into the baked tarts and bake for 10 minutes, until the edges are set but the centre is still slightly wobbly
  7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool
  8. For the ganache, break the chocolate into pieces in a bowl
  9. In a saucepan, bring the cream to a simmer and pour over the chocolate. Allow to sit for 5 minutes before stirring until the chocolate is completely melted
  10. Spread the ganache over the cooled tarts and top with fresh raspberries and shredded coconut

Coconut Chocolate Chunk Cookies (Clean)

I think I found my new favorite cookie recipe.

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I pulled my first batch out of the oven and omg the chocolate was all melty and it looked so good. Seriously, this recipe is definitely not short of chocolate. I grabbed a cookie without letting it cool and gobbled it down. It was delicious. I did burn my fingers on the melted chocolate, but all was worth it. I knew this was a killer recipe. But then, after I had let the cookies cool for a bit, I went to grab another one and – would you believe it – this one was better than the first!! The chocolate doesn’t set very easily, as it’s been in such a high temperature, so the chocolate was still ooey and gooey, but the cookie itself had firmed up. The straight-out-of-the-oven cookie was still a little crumbly and had a very even texture throughout. The cookie I’d left to cool for about 10 minutes had a crispy exterior layer with a soft inside. I know it doesn’t sound like much, but it made it so much better.

Then? I had another cookie. Yeah, that’s like three cookies within 15 minutes. #noshame

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The next morning, I added two cookies onto my papaya smoothie bowl, and yet again the cookies awed my taste buds. Either they had gotten better or I was just really hungry – and I had just eaten half a large papaya, so I’m pretty sure they’d gotten better. I couldn’t stop myself. I ate another two. That’s four cookies within 15 minutes. Are you starting to see a pattern?

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The weird thing is, I’m not usually a fan of coconut in sweets. Macaroons? Bounty bars? Never liked them. Never even really liked coconut yogurt (then again, I only had that once). But undoubtedly, this cookie wouldn’t be the same if it weren’t for that coconut. It adds texture and flavor that is addicting and irresistible. Hence, why I’ve been eating about a dozen of these a day…

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By the way, you might notice some darker chunks of chocolate in these photos that don’t seem to have melted. In case you were wondering, for my first batch, I mixed in some chunks of chocolate date fudge, just as an experiment. It was fine, but it didn’t really make the recipe any better or anything, so I omitted it in the second batch.

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These photos do not do the cookies justice. You have to eat one to know how insanely and unexplainably delicious they are. Please make them now. They’re suuper easy to make too! One-bowl and you basically just dump all the ingredients together.

Coconut Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Adapted from Half Baked Harvest

Makes 20-30 cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup canola oil (or another 1/2 cup coconut oil)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut or almond milk
  • 2 cups dark chocolate chunks
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut*

*You can also use sweetened, depending on how sweet your chocolate is as well

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. In a large bowl, stir together all the ingredients except for the chocolate chunks and shredded coconut until well combined
  3. Stir in the chocolate chunks and shredded coconut
  4. Clump together a tablespoon or two of the dough into a ball (if it’s a little too crumbly, add another tablespoon of oil) and place it onto a lined baking sheet
  5. Repeat with the rest of the dough
  6. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until set and golden

Red Velvet Beetroot Pancakes (Clean)

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A few weeks ago in mid-January, I was scrolling through Foodgawker as I always do, and I noticed that people had already started posting Valentine’s Day recipes, and I was pretty confused – it wasn’t even February yet! Well, now that it’s actually February, here’s a “Valentine’s Day”-inspired recipe, because you can’t go wrong with pink food on Valentine’s! Not to mention – gluten-free, sugar-free, and oil-free pink!

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Might I add that you don’t need to have a significant other or a Valentine to make these? Yeah, yeah, Valentine’s is usually about those you love romantically, but that doesn’t mean that love stops there. Make these to show your appreciation for your mother, your father, your brother, or even for yourself, because you should love yourself no matter what. There will always be times where you get down and feel like you aren’t worthy and capable of achieving the expectations that society throws at you, and your mind may automatically begin to close out all the things you love about yourself until you feel worthless. Times like that, take a break from the world and recall all the amazing things you’ve achieved in life and kind things you’ve done, no matter whether it was winning a race or taking the time to donate a little to a charity you support. All of those moments, added up, will be infinite. Thus, your love for yourself should be just that – infinite.

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With all that deep life talk aside, let’s just appreciate these pancakes.

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These pancakes are quite fluffy and the beetroot flavor isn’t evident at all (good for those who don’t like beetroot – if you do, I guess you could add in double the amount of beetroot and see how that goes…). If you have a heart-shaped cookie cutter or egg-shaper, that would just bring these to the next level and make them look so gorgeous. Plus, I wouldn’t omit the melted chocolate, because that just contributes so much to the appearance, flavor, and Valentine-feel. As for fruit, chocolate-dipped strawberries or raspberries would be beautiful as well if you’re short on cherries!

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Oh, and may I also add that these photos were taken nearly a year ago? Obviously, my photography and editing have come a long way, but this recipe is too good not to share. Plus, I’m quite happy with this gif:

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Red Velvet Beetroot Pancakes

Adapted from Dessert With Benefits

Makes 6-10, depending on size

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tablespoon raw cacao powder
  • 2 teaspoons powdered stevia
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup beetroot purée*
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk of choice
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • Melted chocolate/fresh fruit, for serving (optional, but recommended)

*To make the beetroot purée, stick the beetroots (unpeeled) in a big pot of boiling water until they’re soft, peel them, and purée them in a food processor. Use leftovers for any of these recipes calling for beetroot purée.

Method

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the coconut flour, cocoa powder, stevia, baking powder, and salt
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the beetroot purée and eggs, before whisking in the milk of choice, vanilla extract, and vinegar
  3. Heat a pancake pan or a relatively flat saucepan over medium heat. Spray with oil and spoon about 1/4-1/3 cup of mixture onto the pan, spreading them into circles. Cook until the edges are dry and the surface is slightly dry. The pancakes take longer to cook than regular pancakes, so about 3-5 minutes.
  4. Flip and cook for about a minute on the other side, before flipping out onto a plate. Continue to cook the batter until all of it is used up.
  5. Stack them up, top with melted chocolate and fresh fruit, and serve!

 

Sugar-Free Chocolate Chip Quinoa Muffins (Clean)

School is starting up again, and as always, I’ve got a batch of muffins in my fridge to allow for easy school-snacking. A muffin (or two) a day keeps the school stress away.

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So – why are these chocolate chip quinoa muffins so perfect as on-the-go snacks? Let’s talk quinoa.

Quinoa (pronounced keen-WAH) is a seed, though it’s often used as a grain. It’s gluten-free, with a tiny amount of fat, but more importantly, it’s a complete protein, making it an ideal protein source for all the vegetarians and vegans out there. A cup of quinoa gives you 222 calories, along with 8.1g protein and 58% of your RDA for magnese. It’s fibrous with a low glycemic index, keeping you full for a longer period of time, which is why I am oh-so-grateful for having these with me during school and getting me through the classes leading up to lunch.

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Sugar-Free Chocolate Chip Quinoa Muffins

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (240g) cooled, cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup (120g) white whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup (130g) light rye flour (Or more white whole wheat)
  • 2 tablespoons powdered stevia
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup plain Greek yoghurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup mini chocolate chips

*If you want a sweeter muffin, feel free to add in a bit of honey/coconut sugar and adjust to taste

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together quinoa, flours, stevia, baking powder, and salt
  3. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together coconut oil, buttermilk, egg, greek yoghurt, and vanilla extract until smooth
  4. Pour the wet mixture into the smooth mixture and stir until just combined, before folding in the chocolate chips. Do not over mix
  5. Transfer the mixture into a lined muffin/cupcake tin and bake for approximately 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle of one comes out clean. Allow to cool and enjoy!

Peanut Butter Granola (Clean)

It’s my first post of 2016! And I’ve decided to post….peanut butter granola.

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Okay, I know, it doesn’t sound like the most fancy and impressive thing, but sometimes it’s important to enjoy simple things…like peanut butter granola, which as a matter of fact, is absolutely delicious and awesome. If you follow my Instagram you may notice that it’s in practically every recent photo of nana ice cream or smoothie bowls.

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Now, homemade granola is something that I’ve been making for forever and it’s a staple in my pantry, but I get it if it seems a little intimidating at first. Just trust me on this one. Homemade granola’s are the best. They’re cheaper than store-bought granola, not to mention way healthier and crazily customizable. You could make pineapple-almond-cinnamon-nutmeg-matcha granola at home if you wanted, but you wouldn’t see that on a grocery store shelf! Speaking of customizable granola, you can check out all my other granola recipes here, which include mocha chocolate granola, cinnamon banana nut granola, oat-less granola, 7-ingredient granola chunks, and honey almond “quinola”.

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Peanut Butter Granola

Adapted from Whole and Heavenly Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup peanuts
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons flax seeds
  • 1/4 cup unrefined coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten until foamy
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 150 degrees Celsius or 300 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. In a mixing bowl, stir together the oats, peanuts, shredded coconut, chia seeds, flax seeds, coconut sugar, cinnamon, and salt
  3. In a medium saucepan, heat the coconut oil and peanut butter and stir until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and add in the maple syrup, egg white, and vanilla extract
  4. Pour the liquid mixture into the dry mixture and stir until combined
  5. Spread the mixture in an even layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 25-30 minutes*. Allow to cool completely before breaking into clusters. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

*Baking time may vary. I’ve made granola many times and sometimes they’ll take longer than others, so use 25-30 as a general guide to when your granola should be done, but trust your instincts and use common sense as well 🙂

Chocolate Chia Mousse (Clean) + Creative Nature Superfoods Discount Code!

This post is sponsored by Creative Nature Superfoods. All opinions expressed here are my own.

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I have a new favorite favorite way to eat chia seeds, and I’ve also found a new favorite chia seed and cacao nib brand! Creative Nature Superfoods.

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This company generously sent me some samples to try out their products. I was ecstatic and super excited to try out their cacao powder and chia seeds, but when the package arrived, I saw that they’d given me a few of their colorfully-packaged superfood bars as well – which seriously made my day. So far, I’ve tried ‘Tropical Treat’ and ‘Sublime Seed’ (saving the chocolate one for last, of course…), and they’re both incredibly delicious.

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Their superfood bars are cold-pressed bars that are great, healthy on-the-go snacks. They’re made purely out of natural ingredients, with no added sugars, syrups, sweeteners or other unhealthy additives. They’re also free from gluten, dairy, wheat, soya, nuts, and GMO. Overall, these bars are absolutely perfect.

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As for the chia seeds, well, chia seeds are naturally nutrient powerhouses. Low in calories, but full of protein, fibre, and other essential nutrients that keep you feeling full for a sustained period of time. Honestly one of the best superfoods ever!

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I used both their chia seeds and cacao powder in this recipe.

If you want to recreate this recipe with the same ingredients as I did, ensuring that your tastes just as delicious as mine, you can buy your ingredients at www.creativenaturesuperfoods.co.uk and get 10% off with the discount code CHIAC10.

Affiliate image 2 Chia Cathy

Anyways, continuing with the recipe.

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This isn’t just your average chia pudding. There are tons of chia pudding recipes. Don’t get me wrong, those are delicious, but this one is a chia mousse. I love chia pudding now, but when I had my first one, I couldn’t finish it. Not because of the flavor, but because of the texture. It just felt weird, but now, I’ve gotten used to it and I love chia pudding.

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This recipe starts off as any old chia pudding recipe, but the trick is to blend it.

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Chia seeds generally form a liquid-y gel around them, so when you blend the whole thing up for long enough, it becomes this beautifully smooth and perfectly thick mousse, which I found to be super decadent. It’s a million times healthier than a regular chocolate mousse, yet tastes just as delicious!

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What are you waiting for? Head over to Creative Nature Superfoods and grab some cacao powder and chia seeds, getting 10% off your orders with the discount code CHIAC10!

Notes: You will probably need to adjust the liquid content (water/coconut milk) of the mousse. This is partially due to different thickness of coconut milk and how much liquid your chia seeds absorb, and also so that you can have a mousse of your desired thickness.

Chocolate Chia Mousse

Makes 1 serving

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon cacao powder
  • 6 tablespoons coconut milk lite
  • 1 tablespoon honey or agave syrup
  • Water (start with 2 tbsp, but add more as needed)
  • Toppings (I used flourless chocolate fudge avocado brownies (recipe coming soon!), unsweetened shredded coconut, and cacao nibs)

Method

  1. In a small bowl/jar, stir together the chia seeds and cacao powder. Add in the coconut milk, honey/agave, and water, and stir until combined
  2. Cover with plastic wrap (if using a bowl) and place in fridge for at least 30 minutes (or overnight), until it thickens and the chia seeds have absorbed all the liquid
  3. Place in blender and blend until smooth, adding water as needed
  4. Transfer into bowl or cup and top with flourless chocolate fudge avocado brownies (recipe coming soon!), unsweetened shredded coconut, and cacao nibs