Have a vegan attending your Thanksgiving table? These Date Nut Truffles will not only solve your vegan dessert dilemma, but all of your guests and you will love them. They’re also gluten free…for those other guests. I think they’ll make an appearance throughout the holidays in my home.
1 cup walnuts
1/2 cup shelled pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup macadamia nuts
1 1/4 cups unsweetened shredded coconut, 1/4 cup set aside
2 cups pitted dates
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
If you like your nuts a little toasty, place the walnuts and pumpkin seeds in an oven at 350 degrees for 7-10 minutes. Let cool, then place walnuts, pumpkin seeds, macadamia nuts, and 1 cup of shredded coconut in a food processor bowl. Pulse until finely crumbed.
Add dates, coconut oil, salt and vanilla extract, and pulse again until it’s a moistened consistency.
Place remaining shredded coconut and cocoa powder in a bowl. Roll about a tablespoon size into a ball and then roll it in the coconut-cocoa mixture until evenly coated. Place truffles on a tray with wax or parchment paper and place in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.
Take out about 10 minutes before serving. Makes about 20 truffles.
I was attending an all weekend, all day seminar that I wasn’t too excited about. I knew I needed to prepare for my early mornings, with a quick and filling breakfast, full of fiber, protein and good grains that would give me sustained energy. And this whole grain, gluten-free, blueberry, chia seed, flax seed, walnut muffin is what I came up with. I used very little coconut sugar in it. In fact, next time, I would add in a couple of chopped dates for added sweetness. I took a basic recipe and customized it with all of these goodies. That’s sometimes a bit tricky to do with baking, because ingredient proportions need to be exact. My grade school arithmetic skills didn’t fail me this time.
Check out the recipe below:
This recipe made 6 muffins. Simply double it for a full dozen. Easy to freeze and defrost!
1 cup almond flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Dash cinnamon and cardamon (optional)
1/4 cup oats (can use gluten free oats if you prefer)
2 tablespoons chia seeds
2 tablespoons flax seeds
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (or any of your favorite nuts)
2 tablespoons coconut sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted (can substitute with oil)
1/4 cup cream (can substitute something lighter if you prefer)
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup blueberries (frozen are best, but fresh work too, and you can also use raspberries)
Optional: a couple of chopped dates
Place 6 muffin liners into a muffin tin. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, mix together the wet ingredients. In a larger bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (but not the berries). Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined (do not beat). Finally, add the berries and briefly mix again.
Divide the mixture between the 6 muffin liners (I like to use a big ice cream scoop to do this) and bake for 20-25 minutes until the muffins are golden brown and set in the middle (If a toothpick comes out clean, they are ready). Leave the muffins in the tin on a cooling rack for 5 minutes, and then loosen carefully with a knife before turning out to cool completely.
Thanksgiving is our time to give thanks, and boy have I got plenty to be grateful for. It’s been real busy around here, but I have made a promise to myself to follow Peter Bedard’s, of Create Your Health suggestion, to write a list of 50 things I am grateful for. I invite you to do that too! I am very grateful for my wonderful community – thank you for all of your lovely support. Wishing you a beautiful Thanksgiving!
Another person I am grateful for is Elana Horwich of Meal and Spiel, who posted this awesome recipe for Pumpkin Pie with a Flourless Pecan crust. I personally “cheated” and used a can of organic pumpkin puree, but I can’t tell you how excited I am to try the flourless pecan crust recipe! It’s sitting in the refrigerator now awaiting this afternoon’s festivities. Find Elana’s entire recipe here.
This pie crust was crazy easy to make.
3 Cups Pecans
10ish Dates, Pitted
7 Tablespoons Butter + 1 Tablespoon for the pie pan
Place all ingredients into food processor, butter the pan with remaining tablespoon butter, and press the delicious pecan-ey mush into the pie pan. Either fill the pan with Elana’s delicious Pumpkin Pie recipe, or follow the instructions on the back of your organic pumpkin puree can. Here’s what I did: Bake for about 15 minutes at 425, then take pie out and cover the crust edges with tin foil (see pic below), and reduce heat to 350 and bake for another 20-30 minutes, until the pie is firm to touch. Let it cool before serving. Can be made a day ahead. Enjoy!
This is from a viewer who watched Episode One of “Healthy Delectables”, Stuffed Squash Blossoms:
Well, we have had a nice little crop in our garden this year so, since we were having a few people over yesterday, we thought it would be a good opportunity to harvest our flowers and try your recipe. Delicious!
Steve’s Stuffed Squash Blossoms
IN THE NAME OF LOVE
Years ago, I worked at a restaurant that was known for it’s healthy menu. However, when I consumed the food, there was something missing for me in the way of my feeling nourished; in fact, I often felt sort of empty, and not necessarily all that healthy for eating it. Meanwhile, when I lived in New York, I frequented a little Mediterranean restaurant near my apartment in the East Village, Cafe Mogador. My friends and I were treated with grace and gratitude for our frequent patronage, which was almost weekly. I recall craving their food, that was simple, delicious and irresistible. In my opinion, LOVE was the main ingredient.
Over this past 4th of July weekend, I was hired to bake desserts for a newlywed party. As a guest at the party, I watched people consume the Flourless Chocolate Brownies, Lemon Lavender Cupcakes, Zucchini Ginger Cupcakes and Pistachio Cranberry Wedding Cookies. As if we weren’t drunk enough on the champagne, it seems that we were also drunk on the Love emanating from the wedding festivities.
The morning after the wedding, back in the kitchen, I think Love made it’s way into the brown sugar, floated into the Kitchen Aid mixer as I sifted flour, and cracked eggs. And then it made it’s way into people’s hearts and stomachs.
In the name of LOVE, whether you’re baking, gardening, or paying your bills, infuse your LOVE into what you’re doing. You will feel satiated, as will the people who receive it from you.
My family and I are rarely all together in one place. My sister lives in Paris, France, my parents live in San Francisco, and I’m in Los Angeles. Our last family trip was to Thailand for my Dad’s 60th birthday in January, 2007. This weekend, we all took a trip up to Sea Ranch, a three hour drive north of San Francisco, off of winding coastal Highway 1. We’ve been going there for many years, and I have never failed to avoid car sickness. But the nausea is totally worth the crisp sea air, ocean views, and being surrounded by nature and adorable deer, jack rabbits, wild turkeys and horses every which way.
Two Fish Baking Company Sea Ranch, CA
It rained all of yesterday, and we were stuck indoors for most of the day. But this morning, the sky was a gorgeous blue, and the sun was out, so the four Kagans took a morning hike up to The Two Fish Baking Company, a popular little spot among the locals, that is off the beaten path for your run of the mill tourist traffic. The artisan bakers and owners are two awesome ladies, Margaret and Hilla, who opened up shop in 2003. They bake starting at 2:30am, and offer different fresh breads and pastries, and delicious coffee from Equator, a small roaster in San Rafael. (Anyone who knows me, knows how seriously I take my coffee, and theirs was GOOD! :))
Our morning pastries were yummolicious! My Dad got a delectable Bear Claw, Mom got a perfectly zesty Orange Currant Scone, my sister got a slice of Coffee Cake that was a delicious balance of crumbles, while not being too sweet, and I got a Morning Bun, that was like the pastry child of a croissant and a cinnamon donut, only better. Then just when things couldn’t be better, Margaret, who at first gave me a hard time for taking photos in her shop, brought out a slice of Lemon Rosemary Olive Oil Cake I was eyeing. It was AMAZING!! The Olive Oil, while not overpowering, melted in my mouth, and the Rosemary and Lemon combination…well, you just have to try it, and that’s that.
So, next time you’re in the mood for a trip up north, make sure to check out Two Fish Baking Company, and say hello to Margaret and Hilla for me.
Two Fish Baking Company
Two Fish Bakery35590 Verdant View, #1Sea Ranch, CA 95497www.twofishbakery.com
So, as my baking business is taking off, I’m figuring out how to organize a bunch of things as they come up.
For instance, those chocolate truffles are a labor intensive job! I was so excited to come up with so many different flavors (mint, coconut, lavender, orange), but what I didn’t take into account was that each flavor – essentially – needs to be made separately. In other words, a lavender truffle cannot come from the same batch as a mint truffle. You see, I wanted to make my truffles old school, and infuse each chocolate ganache mixture with a different fresh ingredient. I cook the lavender buds or the fresh mint leaves in the cream, and then pour the infused cream over the chocolate. The end result is absolutely delicious and beautiful; but I’m going to start to have little chocolate loving helpers in the kitchen, if this keeps up! It’s all worth it. This little baking wonderland that has transpired in my kitchen has been a dream!
Additionally, my rusty math skills have really been tested recently. I had to calculate 1/8 of a recipe here, while figuring out how many batches of cookies I needed for six separate orders. The numbers are dancing in my head like the crazy eyes in the Fantastic Mr. Fox film. (Image reference below).
Happy Valentines Day everyone! Whether you have a significant other to snuggle up with, or a furry or feathered friend, or a warm pillow, treat yourself to some good self lovin’, and maybe a healthy delectable treat.
Oh yeah! And not the un-yummy kind! These are delicious.
One day I posted on Facebook that I am selling my cookies, and the orders started coming in! Now I’ve added muffins to the yummy roster. Everything has been created out of a desire to feed people with healthy treats. So, if you’d like to hop onto the scrumptious train, I will soon create a special page for all my sweet toothed fans to stay abreast of my weekly cookie creations, and to place an order if they so choose.
Some recent feedback for the Banana Oatmeal Coconut Cookies, the Chocolate Chip Oatmeal (some with and some without Coconut) and the Zucchini Ginger Muffins:
“It’s the perfect blend of spice, sweetness and salt! Super yummy I got to try one! Ok, two!” (About the Zucchini Ginger Muffins)
“Finleigh fully absorbed in eating your magical healing muffins. She wolfed down a whole one!!! I ate 2, and holy smokes i swear I started to feel better!!! Thank u for your loving muffins!!!” (Finleigh is my friend Sarah’s adorable 17 month old – also the Zucchini Ginger Muffins)
“I just want you to come cook at my house.” (A general comment I thought I’d share :))