Category Archives: cocoa

Vegan, Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip/Hazelnut Cookies Are a Holiday Treat

Thanksgiving is barely behind us, and we’re already thinking about all the cookies we’re going to eat in December. Really, is it even the holiday season without cookies? It’s the time of year when you’re most tempted to stray from a vegan, gluten-free diet, because most of the offered desserts are packed with dairy and wheat. Still, there is no reason why you should miss out on the fun, just because you’re trying hard to be healthy. These cookies aren’t exactly a diet food, but they are vegan, gluten-free, and delicious!

INGREDIENTS

1 2/3 cups raw hazelnuts
1 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup gluten-free baking flour (we swear by Bob’s Red Mill)
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup coconut sugar
t teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup real maple syrup
3 tablespoons unsweetened non-dairy milk, such as almond or coconut
2 tablespoons coconut oil, warmed to room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2/3 cups dark, unsweetened chocolate chips (check label to make sure they don’t contain dairy products)

INSTRUCTIONS

Toast hazelnuts in a dry pan on your stovetop for about five minutes. Push them around a bit to make sure they don’t burn. Remove from burner and set aside to cool. Roll hazelnuts in your hands to remove as much of the skin as possible. It’s okay if some of the skin still remains.

Place the hazelnuts in a blender or food processor and pulse until the nuts become a fine meal. Meanwhile, combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl, stirring until they’re blended. Pour the dry ingredients into the blender or food processor and pulse together. Add the wet ingredients and continue blending.

The mixture will be quite thick, so add a bit more plant milk if necessary. When you’re finished blending, transfer the batter into a mixing bowl and add the chocolate chips. Chill the dough in your refrigerator for at least half an hour, grease a cookie sheet with some coconut oil, and preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Remove the batter from the refrigerator and scoop dough with tablespoon, one mound at a time, onto the cookie sheet. These cookies don’t spread much, so don’t worry if they are close together. You can press down their surfaces with a fork to make a nice, textured effect. Bake for about 10-12 minutes, until the edges are slightly browned. Your kitchen will smell divine.

Makes about two dozen cookies. You can invite the whole gang over for a holiday treat, and they won’t have any trouble devouring every bite! Cookies keep well, covered, for 2-3 days, but are unlikely to last that long. Enjoy your holiday, no matter what you celebrate!

Posted in Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Vegan, Gluten-Free Chocolate Zucchini Bread is Like Heaven on a Plate

Do you still have a few leftover zucchinis from your summer garden? You may be wondering what to do with them. Most likely, you’ve given several of them away to friends, and they’ve made it clear they don’t want or need any more. Try as you might, you can’t get rid of all of them! Never fear — our sweet bread recipe will give a whole new purpose to those succulent, green vegetables. The addition of unsweetened cocoa and walnuts will send you into orbit. Good thing this recipe makes two loaves, because you won’t have any trouble devouring the first one.

INGREDIENTS

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
3 tablespoons boiling water
3 cups gluten-free flour (Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose is our favorite)
2 cups coconut sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking soda
1 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cups coconut or olive oil
3/4 cups plant-based milk (we used unsweetened coconut milk)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups grated zucchini (about 3 medium-sized zucchinis)
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

Boil 3 tablespoons of water and whisk in the cocoa. Continue to whisk until it forms a thick paste and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, sea salt, and baking soda. Stir until thoroughly combined, then fold in the oil, plant milk, and vanilla extract. Keep stirring, then add the cocoa mixture, grated zucchini, and walnuts. Your batter should be creamy but not too thick. The zucchini will add a lot of moisture. Don’t fret!

Grease two small (8 x 4 x 2 1/2) bread pans with coconut oil or vegan butter or margarine such as Earth Balance. Pour the batter evenly into the two pans. Bake in 350 degree oven for 50-60 minutes. Your kitchen will smell divine. You can insert a toothpick or fork into the center of the loaves to make sure they are done. The surface should be slightly cracked but not burned.

Remove both loaves from your oven, and do your best to allow them to cool before digging in. This bread is great either hot or cold. You can serve it as is, or with a dab of vegan butter, margarine, jam, or cream cheese. Feel free to experiment! Serves 6 guests with ease, but your bread will probably disappear fast. If you have any left in the morning, it’s great as a quick breakfast with coffee. Since this bread contains two cups of coconut sugar,it is decidedly not a diet food. But, when it’s this delicious, who cares? Not us! Dig in and enjoy!

Posted in Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Vegan, Gluten-Free Chocolate Muffins for Your Sweet Tooth

Sometimes, when you crave something sweet, nothing but chocolate will do. It’s rich and decadent, lifts your spirits, and has a seductive flavor that can’t be beat. You can almost believe these vegan, gluten-free muffins are actually healthy. They’re much better for you than the store-bought variety, at least. This recipe features coconut sugar and maple syrup and utilizes either gluten-free rice or oat flour. You can have these muffins for breakfast or pack them in your lunch box and take them to work. Give our recipe a try, and you’ll soon find yourself in Chocolate Heaven. This treat is inexpensive, quick, and incredibly easy to make!

DRY INGREDIENTS
1 ½ cup gluten-free brown rice flour (oat flour works, as well. Try Bob’s Red Mill, it’s our favorite)
1 cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder (check label to make sure there are no milk solids)
1 teaspoon baking soda (aluminum-free, please!)
¼ teaspoon sea salt (NOT iodized table salt!)

WET INGREDIENTS
½ cup water+ 2 extra tablespoons
½ cup non-dairy milk (we used Forager organic coconut-cashew milk, it tastes delightful!)
3 tablespoons melted coconut oil
1/3 cup coconut sugar
¼ cup pure maple syrup (just say no to pancake syrup)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and fill each compartment of muffin pan with cupcake liners. Combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and slat in large bowl and mix until thoroughly combined. Meanwhile, melt coconut oil in small saucepan and warm milk in another pan. Pour milk and oil into a smaller bowl and add coconut sugar, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and water. Stir briskly and then pour the mixture into the larger bowl with the dry ingredients.

Combine all ingredients until blended. The batter should be thick and creamy but not stiff.
Spoon a couple of tablespoons of batter into each compartment of the muffin pan. Place pan on the center rack of your oven and bake for approximately 20 minutes. You can stick a toothpick or fork in the center of one of the muffins to make sure it comes out clean. Your kitchen will smell divine in the meantime.

Makes 10-12 medium-sized muffins. These delicious confections keep well in a covered container. You probably don’t want to eat all 12 of them at one sitting. Invite ten of your friends over and have a party, instead. We guarantee they will disappear quickly. They’re great warm or cold. Enjoy!

Posted in Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment