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Buckwheat Granola and a Banana Almond Breakfast Bowl

Dear lovelies,

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Hello! I’ve missed you, blog! It has been literally months since I’ve posted. A few crazy, weird (both amazingly good-weird and kinda funky/bad-weird), interesting months. Some quick updates before I get this post rollin’:

I am now 100% gluten free. Therefore, so is this blog! It seems silly to make this announcement in February since it’s been true since the beginning of November, but I’ve been missing from my bloggin’ since this whole ordeal sooo…surprise! Turns out I have some weird food allergies/intolerances/who-knows-whats that have been causing some health issues for a while. It got really bad this winter, so I cut out gluten and am still working on identifying the other meanie foods that are hurting me. It’s all a process.

Oh and for all you nonbelievers: Food intolerances are real and not just trendy. Believe me. When pizza and I broke up, I was beyond devastated. I wouldn’t wish this kind of heartbreak upon anyone.

AND: things can be just as yummy gluten free as their gluten-y counterparts. Let me prove it to you!

It’s 2014! (When on earth did that happen oh my god I graduate soon okay whoa ahh yep)

Anyways okay hi, the FOOD:

Buckwheat Granola

1 1/2 c. raw, hulled buckwheat groats
1/4 c. raw walnut pieces
1/4 c. raw sesame seeds
1/4 c. raw sunflower seeds
1/3 c. coconut flakes
1/4 c. coconut butter (oil would work here too)
3 tbsp. maple syrup (or other liquid sweetener)
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat your oven to 325° and grease a large sheet pan with coconut oil or line it with parchment paper. Set this aside and grab a big bowl. Mix all your dry ingredients together. In a small  bowl, melt down your coconut butter/oil in the microwave for 30ish seconds. Pour in your maple syrup/other sweetener, vanilla, and mix. Combine your wet and dry ingredients and spread evenly across your prepared pan. Stick it in the oven for about an hour, checking every 10-15 minutes to mix around and make sure nothing is burning (pay special attention to the coconut flakes! These little guys are needy–they burn easily). When I’m done, I usually turn off the oven and leave the granola inside as it cools so I can ensure crispiness without burning.

Banana Almond Chia Pudding

1 banana, preferably on the riper side
1 heaping tbsp. almond butter
3 tbsp. chia seeds
1 c. unsweetened almond milk (or whatever other milk/milk substitute you want)

The night (or a few hours) before you want to eat this yumminess, mash your banana and whisk it together with the almond milk. Add your chia seeds and almond butter and stir/shake/whatever your lil heart desires to make sure it’s well-combined. I put mine directly in my my roommate’s magic bullet and let it sit overnight in the fridge. When you’re ready to eat it, throw it in the blender for a little to combine. Or not. It’s not really necessary, but I like it better this way.

Serve over yogurt, topped with your new yummy granola! It’s the bomb. I could hardly sleep last night I was so excited for my breakfast-to-be.

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Isn’t it beautiful?

Happy weekend, lovely people. And happy 2014. It’s good to be back.

Love, Emily

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Almond Coconut Loaves

Dearest friends,

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Hi! Happy Hump Day! Today is such a beautiful day for so many reasons. I’ve been so productive AND I haven’t even put pants on yet. It’s 2pm! That’s an accomplishment! I woke up at a reasonable hour, did some homework, cleaned (!!!), wrote, drew, baked, painted my nails…I just went all out. True, very little of this fits within a normal person’s definition of “productive”, but I’m not exactly a normal person. I actually do have a lot I should be doing for school (puke), buuut right now I’m just focusing on doing good, happy things. Not only have I done a ton today, but the weather is near perfect. It’s 70 degrees and sunny. I cannot WAIT to go run errands in this beautiful sunlight.

I feel like these little loaf cake is the perfect balance of sweetness where it tastes decadent and yummy but then you step back and think about the ingredients and it’s not all that indulgent after all! Which is nice. I love almonds. I think they’re perfection in food form. Coconut is pretty fabulous too. Together, they make a great pair.

1 1/2 c. unsweetened coconut, toasted
3/4 c. almond meal
1 c. whole wheat flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. sea salt
3/4 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 c. almond or coconut milk
1/4 c. butter, melted and cooled (or coconut oil!)
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 c. slivered almonds, for the top

Preheat the oven to 350° and toast your coconut flakes. To do so, spread them out on a baking sheet and leave in the oven for 3-4 minutes, but watch them closely! They can get burnt super quickly. Grease one large loaf pan or two mini loaf pans with butter or coconut oil and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the flour, coconut, almond meal, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar. Make sure there are no lumps (that almond meal gets a little cheeky sometimes) and set aside. In another bowl, whisk the eggs together and add the butter, almond/coconut milk, butter and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and gently stir to combine. Pour into your pan(s) and top with the slivered almonds. Bake for about 35-40 minutes for the small loaves, 50 minutes for the big one. (My mini loaves took about 45 minutes but my oven is old and funky so just keep an eye on them!)

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This is a really nice breakfast loaf. A slice of this deliciousness plus a cup of coffee…yummmm. I based this recipe off of a lovely coconut loaf cake one from my Sprouted Kitchen cookbook. It’s a good one; I was very happy with the way it turned out. Try it.

Love, Emily


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Lime Cheesecake with Cashew Coconut Crust

Hey babes,

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It’s been quiiite the past couple of weeks. Long story short: I have found an apartment after a fair amount of blood (minimal, mostly just blisters), sweat (LOTS thanks to the New York heat wave…..ugh), and tears (a little here and there) and I’m back in San Diego due to an interesting last minute turn of events. Good and bad. Bittersweet. Etc. Anyways, at least I’m reunited with my parents’ roomy kitchen lalalaaaa

So let’s talk cheesecake. My dad really wanted me to make him a cheesecake for his birthday (8/13) but unfortunately, I was in the process of leaving for NY right around then and didn’t have the time/energy while I was scrambling to get ready to make one. If you’ve ever made a cheesecake, you know how picky and labor intensive they can be. Not so much a last minute, bake-this-on-a-whim kind of dessert. Luckily, I came home a few weeks early (weeee) so my dad’s birthday cheesecake was only a mere 10 days late! This cheesecake is loosely based off of this lovely recipe. And what a fabulous one it was.

Crust:
2 c. raw cashew pieces
1/2 c. shredded unsweetened coconut
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
4 Tbsp. melted coconut oil

Filling:
3 8oz. packages of organic cream cheese at room temperature (!!!)
3/4 c. sugar
2 limes, juiced and zested
2 eggs, whites and yolks separated

Preheat the oven to 350° and begin to prepare your crust. Grease an 8″ or 9″ springform pan and set aside. Pulse the cashews, coconut, and brown sugar together in a food processor until you get a medium-fine crumb. Add the melted coconut oil, stir until combined, and press evenly into your springform pan. Place in the oven for 20 minutes or so until the crust is lightly golden brown. Remove while you prepare the filling.

Increase the oven temperature to 400° and move on to preparing the cheesy part of said cheesecake. With an electric mixer (for those of us who don’t have fancy shmancy stand mixers……it’s not like I’m bitter/jealous or anything…..), mix together the cream cheese and sugar until it’s all nice and fluffy. Add your lime juice and zest and mix again. Separate your whites and yolks of your two eggs and drop the yolks into your cream cheese mixture, leaving the whites in a separate bowl for whipping. Mix in the yolks and set this aside while you whip the whites to soft peaks. Once sufficiently whipped, gently fold the egg whites into the rest of the filling with a spatula. Pour the filling into the crust and smooth out the top. Place the cheesecake on the middle rack in the oven and bake at 400° for 10 minutes before you reduce the temperature to 225°, baking like this for at least another hour (or until mostly set but still sliiightly jiggly in the middle). Once done baking, turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake inside with the door closed for at least another hour–this well help it cool gradually so it doesn’t crack. (Because, let’s be honest, what is more devastating than a cheesecake with a cracked top?) After an hour, pull the cheesecake out and place on a cooling rack. Carefully run a knife around the edge and let it cool at room temperature for at least another hour before placing in the refrigerator overnight. Try to resist the temptation to eat it until the next day. Tough, I know, but it’s much better this way, I promise.

Okay so my main (and only) issue with cheesecake is the sheer amount of cream cheese involved. THREE 8 oz. packages. Can you imagine how many bagels you can coat with that?! Actually no. I take that back. I do not want to think about that. But excessive cream cheese amounts aside, cheesecake is the love of my life. I may have gotten a little teary-eyed when I was photographing it. And again when I ate a slice after dinner. Good GOD this cheesecake knows me. I put a lot of love into it! Essentially, it is my baby, and I am so proud of how it turned out. (Has my absurd relationship with food gotten weird enough for you yet???) Well. On that note, I recommend only making a cheesecake if you have lots of time on your hands and plenty of patience. But if that’s the case, make this one! It’s pretty much the perfect, creamy, lovely, ideal cheesecake consistency (in my humble opinion). Not to mention the crust is fabulous.

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Alsoooo, just a little shout out to all the people in my life that have been there for me lately: you guys are really wonderful. Like, I cannot even express how wonderful. I might even appreciate you more than I appreciate this cheesecake. (KIDDING teehee I absolutely do!) You, along with baking/cooking/yoga, are my most effective antidepressant/anti-anxiety medication. You know who you are 🙂

Love, Emily


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Dark Chocolate Brownies with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

Hello my friends!

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I’m baaaack in the US and I could not be happier to be reunited with my kitchen. I have been cooking/baking up a storm since I arrived.. Most of my kitchen adventures have been experimental though–some of which have turned out not-so-amazing–which is why this is my first post back. Also I’ve been back for weeks and I haven’t written anything yet ooooops. It’s just so easy to put off sitting down and writing a blog post. But I’ve now made 2 amazing things that I absolutely MUST SHARE; they’re tears-in-my-eyes good (brownies now, blondies to follow). I’m nearly drooling just thinking about them.

Apparently I’ve been on a cookie bar kick, which is odd since I rarely make things like brownies or blondies. These brownies were for Father’s Day (eep that was a long time ago and I’m just writing this now oooooops) which apparently I’ve accidentally made an annual tradition. These were better than last year’s though. Different, for sure, but better. These ones were also flourless (see first ever blog post for other recipe), but these were definitely a little more exciting. I took my dad’s love of the deepest darkest chocolatey thing you could imagine, combined it with his love for coconut and his request for a cheesecake for Father’s Day (after I’d already started making brownies…oopsies sorry!) et voilà, I came up with this lovely little combination of GLUTEN FREE (if you’re into that) dark chocolate brownies with a coconut cream cheese layer and topped off with a semisweet chocolate shell. Shell? Glaze? Top layer? You get the point. There’s chocolate on top. In other words, yum.

I got the idea from this recipe for buckeye brownies, but I left out the peanut buttery layer and added my own twist. These were great. Make ’em.

Brownies :

3 oz. 100% cacao baking chocolate, melted (<3)
1 c. coconut oil, melted
2 1/2 c. coconut sugar
4 eggs
12 tsp. vanilla
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cornstarch
1/3 c. plus 1 Tbsp. cocoa powder
2 Tbsp. almond meal

Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting :

2 c. shredded coconut, processed to coconut butter
4 oz. cream cheese, softened

Chocolate layer :

8 oz. semisweet/dark/whatever chocolate
1/2 tsp. coconut oil, melted

Grease an 8×8″ pan and set aside. Preheat the oven to 350° as per usual.

Combine the melted chocolate, melted coconut oil, and coconut sugar together in a bowl. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing between each egg. Add the salt and the vanilla and mix again. Sift the cocoa powder, cornstarch, and almond meal together in a small bowl and add to the wet mixture. Once combined, pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 30 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean when stuck in the middle. Set on a cooling rack and step away from the brownies so you can make your next layer. Maybe even stick it in the fridge so you’re not tempted (that’s what I did).

Process the dry, unsweetened coconut in a food processor until the oils are released and it turns into a spreadable consistency. Add your cream cheese and pulse until combined. Spread this “frosting” over the cool-ish (but mostly cool, please!) brownies and prepare for the final step (!!!)

Melt the chocolate for the top layer and add the coconut oil. Pour the chocolate evenly over the top of the coconut frosting layer. Stick it in the fridge until the top layer sets, cut into them, take a bite, die of happiness. Repeat.

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It feels good to be back :’)

Love, Emily

PS: OOH ooh also forgot to mention that yeah, these are brownies, so they’re sugary and rich and the definition of decadent, but all the ingredients are healthy and natural and wonderful in every way. No refined sugars! No flour! Etc! So you can feel a little less guilty eating them. Right? (Hear hear!)