gluten free

Grain Free Biscotti

When I lived in Italy, one of my favorite afternoon activities was sitting at a cafe with a cappuccino and biscotti (I know, I know, cappuccinos are morning beverages, but I love them!). There was truly nothing more delicious then dunking that crispy sweet cookie into the creamy cappuccino to make it all soft and melt in your mouth. I wanted to create a “cleaned” up version without gluten. In northern Italy it is traditional to add corn meal to the cookie. This adds another layer of sweetness and crunch. I am very pleased with the way these beauties turned out. You can make them completely vegan or with eggs (I tried both) and they are both equally crunchy and delicious. The thing that makes biscotti special is the double bake. You bake them once in a loaf and then slice and bake again. This element creates that super crispy and delicious texture. I love these any time of year but they are perfect for holiday gift giving and eating (let’s be real, I’m eating more than giving). You can leave the recipe as is for a simple, yet delicious biscuit or you can play around with the different variations I listed below or create your own. There really are no limitations. Add dried fruit, nuts and seeds to your liking. I hope you love these as much as I do.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour

  • 1/2 cup corn meal (make sure it is organic and non gmo)

  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar

  • 2 T arrowroot powder

  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 2 eggs or 2 egg replacers (I used Bob’s Red Mill egg replace and it worked great)

  • 1/4 cup nut milk

  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1/4 tsp anise extract

*See flavor variations below

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl combine all wet ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk together wet ingredients. Create a well in the dry ingredients, pour wet mixture in and fold together. Line a large baking sheet with parchment parchment paper. Split the dough into and shape. You may want to wet your hands a bit so the dough doesn’t stick too much. Shape into little football shapes (about 2 inches thick). Place in oven and bake for 18-22 minutes. With a cerated knife, slice the logs widthwise into 1 inch slices. Place slice side down on the cookie sheet and place back into the oven for 15 minutes. Turn the oven off and let the cookies cool in the oven. Remove and store in an airtight container. Enjoy with coffee or tea any time of day.

*Flavor Variations:

  • Chocolate hazelnut- 1/3 cup toasted hazelnuts and 1/4 cup dark chocolate

  • Lemon Pignolo-1 T fresh lemon zest and 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts

  • Cardamom Almond: sub 1/2 tsp almond extract in place of anise and 1/4 tsp ground cardamom

  • Dark Chocolate Cherry-1/3 cup dried cherries 1/4 cup chopped dark chocolate

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Vegan Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake Bars

I'm a big fan of treats that satisfy my sweet tooth but also nourish my body. This past weekend I was craving cheesecake but didn't want all the sugar and dairy. These bars are so incredibly delicious. They are just sweet enough with the perfect tartness. I could easily eat one of these every day (I may or may not have since I've made them...). The blueberry cardamom variation is equally as delicious with a lovely floral note from the cardamom. Either way you can't go wrong. 

Crust:

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  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/3 cup toasted almonds
  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 2 T maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Combine the first 3 ingredients in a food processor or high speed blender and pulse until the mixture is combined and resembles course sand. Pour into a bowl, add remaining ingredients and stir to combine.

Line a bread pan with parchment. Pour the crust into the pan and use a spatula to spread evenly. Place in the freezer.

"Cheesecake" filling:

  • 1 cup soaked and drained cashews
  • 1/3 cup coconut cream
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • the zest of one lemon
  • 2 T maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • pinch os salt
  • 1/3 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1 T The Philosophie Berry Bliss (optional-use code BODYBLISS15 for a discount)

Combine all ingredients but the raspberries and Philosophie Superfood Powder into a high speed blender or food processor and blend on high until creamy (30 seconds to a minute). Remove the crust from the freezer and pour half the batter over the crust. Pour the raspberries into the remaining filling and blend until combined. Pour remaining mixture over the white layer. You may choose to swirl at this point. To do this use a knife and zig sag back and forth until you reach the desired patter. Place the pan into the freezer and freeze for 1 to 2 hours until set.

The serve, run a knife around the edges, remove with the tabs from the parchment and slice into squares. Store in an airtight container in your freezer. Remove from freezer 5 to 10 minutes before eating.

Blueberry Cardamom Variation:

To make the blueberry cardamom version, sub frozen blueberries for raspberries, only use the juice from 1 lemon and add 1/4 tsp ground cardamom. 

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Herby Falafel Recipe

A few months back I came across a falafel recipe where you don't cook the chickpeas and I was intrigued. I have a recipe for falafel that uses cooked chickpeas and it is delicious but it doesn't have that traditional falafel crunch. I thought I would try it out. The herbs add a lovely freshness while the lemon brightens the flavor. I think these may be my new favorite comfort food.  

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  • 2 cups dried chickpeas
  • 1/2 onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup parsley
  • 2 sprigs fresh dill
  • 1 T chickpea flour (if you don't have this, wheat or GF flour will work just fine)
  • 1 T lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/8 tsp ground cardamom (if you like a stronger flavor you can use 1/4 tsp)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • oil for frying (I use avocado)

Place the chickpeas in a bowl and cover with 3 inches of water. Cover and place in the refrigerator overnight. 

Rinse the chickpeas and place them in the bowl of a food processor. Add all remaining ingredients, accept the oil. Pulse until combined, scrapping the sides as needed. Continue to pulse until the batter resemble gravel or course sand. Place in a bowl, cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight. The dough will taste a bit salty, but it will mellow as it sits and be perfect once they are cooked. 

Place a large fry pan on your range at medium high heat. Pour 1/4 to 1/2 inch of oil into the pan. Wait until hot, but not smoking (I will drop a tiny piece of the dough into the oil, if its sizzles, it's ready). Shape the dough into 1 1/2 in flattened balls (I use a cookie scoop and flatten and round with my hands). Cook 5 or less at a time, make sure not to overcrowd your pan. Cook 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden and crispy. Place on a paper towel lined plate to drain. I love to serve these atop a green salad or as wraps with pitta, yogurt sauce and greek salad. 

Drool-worthy Twix Bars

About a year ago I thought to myself "there has got to be a way to make a healthy Twix bar." I have no shame in admitting I have eaten way too many of these in my life. So into the kitchen I went to create. It took a few tries, but I think I nailed it. The cookie is slightly sweet, salty and crunchy. The caramel has the perfect texture; chewy and delicious! These are perfect for the holidays (or, let's be real, anytime of the year). They are gluten, grain, and refined sugar free and vegan. If you make these, make sure to use #bodyblissrecipes on instagram so I can see your beautiful creations! Happiest of Holidays to you! May it be filled with family, friends and so much love!

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Cookie:

  • 3/4 cup organic peanut flour
  • 1/2 cup almond flour (I also successfully used hazelnut meal)
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 T maple syrup
  • pinch of salt

Preheat the over to 350. Mix everything together in a medium bowl. Line a bread pan with parchment paper and press the cookie batter into the pan. Using your hand or the a wet spatula to smooth out the top. Pierce the cookie several times with a fork at bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and place in the freezer.

Caramel:

  • 10 dates, pitted and soaked in hot water for 10-15 minutes
  • 2 T cashew butter (almond butter also works0
  • 1 T melted coconut oil
  • 1 tsp each of pine pollen, reishi and maca 
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Put everything into the bowl of a food processor and process until creamy (I like to make sure it is a creamy paste and no date pieces remain). Remove the cookie from the freezer. With wet hands, spread the caramel over the cookie. Take a wet spatula and smooth it out until it is flat and place back in the freezer. Let set at least an hour.

Chocolate:

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In a double boiler (if you don't have one, place a glass bowl over a pan of water and bring to boil, make sure the water doesn't touch the bottom of the bowl when it boils). Chop or break up the chocolate and add it to the bowl with oil and cacao magic. Stir until melted. Remove the bars from the freezer. With a sharp knife cute in half length-wise and then into 1 inch slices width-wise. Dip into chocolate either on all surfaces or dip the bottom and drizzle over the top. Place on a cookie sheet and put back in the freezer until set. 

Summer Veggies and Lentil Fusilli

I know I have been MIA. We have been in the middle of a move and this crazy lady thought she would somehow be able to cook and or have the time to stop and write a blog post. That didn't happen :) I did; however, manage to throw together a delicious and easy dinner the other night. It is quick, loaded with plant-based protein and veggies. It is the perfect Summer evening pasta. I am happy to be back up and running. Stay tuned for some exciting content in the next couple weeks. 

 

A little about my pasta journey:  Living in Italy greatly influenced and changed the way I make Italian food. One of my most favorite ways to cook pasta is by adding lentils. It adds protein, texture and a delicious earthy flavor. Italians love to lace their pasta with beans. Trust me on this one!

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz gluten free pasta
  • 2 small or 1 large zucchini
  • 2 cups chopped kale
  • 1 cup steamed lentils
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives, chopped
  • Zest and juice from half a lemon 
  • 1 cloves garlic thinly sliced
  • Chili flakes
  • Salt to taste
  • Pecorino cheese (optional, but oh so delicious
  • Micro greens
  • drizzle of good quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)

Bring a large saucepan with a small handful of course salt to boil. Add the pasta (I used this one). Cook until tender, drain and reserve 1 cup pasta water. 

Thinly slice the garlic. Cut zucchini down the middle lengthwise, turn so that flat side is on your cutting board and cut in half lengthwise again. Cute quarters into 1/2 inch slices. Wash, stem and chop the kale.

Heat a cast iron skillet on medium heat until hot, add 1 T olive or avocado oil and garlic. Stir until fragrant and add zucchini, a sprinkle of salt and dried red pepper flakes. Cook until softened and add lentils. Cover with a lid and let steam until zucchini is very soft. Add kale and cover with lid. Cook until kale is bright green and slightly wilted. Add lemon zest and cook until fragrant. Add 1/2 cup pasta water and cook until reduced by at least 1/2. Squeeze in juice from half a lemon, kalamata olives and drained pasta. 

Plate the pasta, drizzle with a generous amount of EVOO. Top with shaved pecorino and micro greens of choice (I used pea shoots)