These Keto-friendly, Grain Free Cookie Dough Balls are HEAVENLY !!!!!!!!
Makes 2 dozen
1/2 cup organic, unrefined, virgin coconut oil
1/4 cup of Foods Alive Coconut Sugar (or organic liquid Stevia to taste)
1 Tbsp Frontier brand Vanilla flavoring
1 Tbsp Frontier brand Almond flavoring
1/4 tsp finely ground Pink Himalayan Salt
1 tsp Frontier brand Pumpkin Spice
2 cups of organic, blanched almond flour
2 Tbsp fresh ground almond butter
1 Tbsp organic, fine coconut flour
2/3 cups of organic dark chocolate chunks or chips - cold
3 Tbsp Foods Alive whole organic pumpkin seeds - grind to a flour (in coffee grinder)
1 Tbsp whole organic flax seeds - grind to a flour
1/2 cup organic toasted coconut flakes - grind to a flour
Melted organic chocolate to drizzle -
In a mixing bowl, whisk briskly the room temperature coconut oil until light and almost fluffy, (approx. 30-60 seconds).
Add coconut sugar, vanilla and almond flavoring, pink salt, and pumpkin spice. Mix well.
Slowly sprinkle in the sifted, blanched almond flour, and almond butter.
In a spice or coffee grinder, add the whole flax seeds and grind to a flour. Add to dough and stir.
Then grind the pumpkin seeds and toasted coconut flour, and add to the dough. Mix well.
Fold in organic dark chocolate chunks or chips and refrigerate dough for 15 minutes.
Take a level tablespoon of dough and roll it gently into a ball, using your hands, (you can
also use a melon baller tool).
Place balls on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. When all balls are done, refrigerate.
Heat a bar of organic dark chocolate in a pan on very low heat.
Add 1 Tbsp of coconut oil and stir constantly until melted. Remove from heat.
Using a teaspoon, drizzle melted chocolate over each cookie dough ball.
Keep refrigerated until served.
Buon Appetito Tutti!
"I've never met a nut I didn't like. Takes one to know one." ~LMG :)
THESE ARE ALWAYS A HOLIDAY HIT!
Decorate with bowls of cinnamon sugared nuts at any upcoming gathering...
or create home made gift jars for parties and holiday treats!
It's quick. It's easy.. And it's DELICIOUS!
3 cups of organic raw, unsalted nuts of choice
(cashew, walnut, peanut, pecan, almond, macadamia, chopped brazil)
1 cup organic coconut sugar
2 Tbsp grass fed unsalted butter
2 Tbsp organic, unrefined coconut oil
1/2 tsp pink Himalayan or Celtic sea salt
1.5 tbsp vanilla extract or the insides of 1 vanilla bean
1 tsp ground organic cinnamon
1 tsp Frontier pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp sprinkle of nutmeg
3 tbsp of water
pinch of cayenne (optional)
Combine all dry ingredients in glass bowl and mix well.
Buon Appetito Tutti!
Moist, sweet cupcakes with a ginger pineapple twist!
Perfect for Fall or anytime time of year!
1/4 c organic coconut flour
1/4 tsp Foods Alive Pink Himalayan or Celtic sea salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp Frontier organic ground pumpkin spice (trust me-best pumpkin spice ever)
3 large eggs
1/4 c grass-fed organic butter, unsalted (or coconut oil if desired)
1/3 c raisins
2 tbsp Foods Alive coconut sugar (or raw honey/Stevia if desired)
1 scraped vanilla bean (or 1 tbsp vanilla extract)
1 c finely grated carrots
1/4 c Foods Alive chopped pecans (or walnuts)
Ginger Pineapple Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz organic cream cheese, softened
1 tsp orange extract
1/4 tsp pink or sea salt
1 tbsp crushed pineapple
1/8 tsp ground dried ginger
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place all ingredients, except pecans, in a food processor and blend until smooth.
Grease a muffin pan or use cupcake liners.
Regular size muffins will fill about 8 and mini muffin pan will fill about 24.
Fill mixture about 3/4 full, then bake.
For mini cupcakes, bake for 10-14 minutes.
For regular cupcakes bake for 20-24 minutes.
Test with toothpick before removing to fully cool.
In a clean food processor, add quartered softened cream cheese, orange extract, salt,
ground ginger and well drained crushed pineapple.
Pulse and blend until frosting is whipped and creamy.
Place in pastry bag with tip of choice and chill until cooled cupcakes are ready to decorate.
Crush 1/4 cup of pecans (or walnuts) and sprinkle on top!
If you've never added toasted nuts to hummus instead of Tahini, then you are missing out! The creamy smooth addition of raw cashews, pine nuts or macadamias, with the magnificent aromas from toasting, gives this dish an explosion of flavor, some of the healthy fats and a twist your guest will really be Thankful for!
2-3 cloves of raw garlic peeled
1- 15 oz can organic garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1- 15 oz can organic artichoke hearts, rinsed and drained
3 tbsp fresh squeezed organic lemon juice
1/4 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp Foods Alive Pink Himalayan or Celtic sea salt, (fine not coarse)
3 tbsp organic extra virgin olive oil (more for blending and drizzle)
1/2 c of Foods Alive raw unsalted cashews or pine nuts
1 tsp paprika
1 tbsp hot sauce (optional)
4 tbsp fresh basil leaves
In a food processor, add rinsed and drained beans, artichoke hearts, garlic cloves, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, paprika, hot sauce, basil and 3 tbsp of olive oil.
Pulse until blended.
Heat a dry frying pan on med-high heat until hot.
Add 1/2 c raw cashews or pine nuts (unsalted).
Let toast for several minutes, tossing to get all sides browned.
Remove from heat and place in a bowl.
When cooled, take toasted nuts to spice grinder and grind to a flour.
Add the toasted flour to the processor mixture and pulse until well blended.
Slowly drizzle olive oil in while blending, to add a creamy, smooth texture.
(approx another 4 tbsp or so)
When desired consistency is achieved, pour hummus into a serving bowl.
Top with sprinkled paprika, fresh basil leaves, olive oil drizzle (and extra crushed toasted nuts if desired).
Serve at room temperature or chill in refrigerator until later.
Serve with veggies, sweet potato chips, beet chips, Foods Alive lemon-chia flax crackers
or your favorite snack.
Mix with extra olive oil and lemon to make a excellent salad dressing!
Dalla Cucina di Laura
"Chocolate comes from cacao, which is a tree. That makes it a plant.
Therefore, chocolate is a salad." :) - Unknown
OK, chocolate is definitely not a salad but it can supercharge your health and well being!
This powerful, little bean can improve cognitive function, increase energy, boost the immune system, balance hormones, reset your metabolism, protect your heart, improve mood
AND enhance your sex life! (P.E.A. or phenylethylamine is an aphrodisiac!)
Raw, naturally fermented cacao is an Amazonian, antioxidant superfood.
The Incas called it the "drink of the gods", which gave rise to its tree name Theobroma-
Greek for theo (god) and broma (drink).
Superfoods contain significantly higher quantities of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants,
anti-aging and disease fighting properties.
This is not the chemically processed, toxic chocolate you'll find in the candy isle,
(not to mention adding dairy to chocolate actually blocks the absorption of antioxidants).
This is the raw, organic, naturally fermented and unprocessed cacao,
which natural benefits include:
1. 20 x more antioxidants of blueberries and 119 x more than bananas.
2. The highest plant based source of iron and magnesium.
3. Healthy fats similar to olive oil.
4. More calcium than cow's milk.
5. A natural anti-depressant.
6. A natural blood thinner.
7. MAO inhibitors which shrink appetite.
8. A great source of sulfur for your liver and pancreas.
9. Increase of cellular life which prevents premature aging.
10. AND the bliss molecule, anandamide, which creates relaxed feelings of euphoria!
Do we need any more reasons to be crazy about cacao???
I think not. So start today.... with my Dark Cacao Nut Butter Cups!
Happy and Healthy :)
Ingredients for the nut butter mixture:
2 tbsp. organic, unrefined coconut oil
5 tbsp. organic almond, peanut, hazelnut or cashew butter
1 tablespoon Frontier vanilla or maple flavoring (or sweetener of choice)
Ingredients for the chocolate mixture:
2 tbsp. of Foods Alive Raw Cacao Powder
I use this: foodsalive.com/products/organic-cacao-powder-foods-alive
2 tbsp. coconut oil
2 tbsp. almond butter
1 tbsp. Frontier vanilla flavor or extract
a dash of organic pumpkin pie spice
Makes 12 chocolate cups-
In separate bowls on low heat, melt the two mixtures until blended thoroughly.
Line a 12 mini muffin pan with mini paper cupcake liners.
First pour the cacao mixture in half way. (Should be similar to a cake batter consistency.)
Freeze until solid, about 15 minutes.
Then pour the nut butter mixture in to the top. (Should be similar to a cake batter.)
Freeze until solid, another 15 minutes.
Remove cups with liners still on and place on a plate.
Spread a little almond butter on and top with fresh berries or chopped nuts.
Keep refrigerated as coconut oil will melt. Remove just before serving.
FEEL THE BLISS! :)
Buon Appetito Tutti!!
For more fun food facts on the benefits of cacao, here is Dr. Mercola:
Dalla Cucina di Laura
"If your mother cooks Italian food, why should you go to a restaurant?" - Martin Scorsese
I remember the first time I saw this on my Sicilian grandmother's dinner table. I was very young, and quite intrigued by the unusual, new sight on my plate. I cautiously took my first bite and was surprised by how much I enjoyed all the flavors. Octopus is still a favorite of mine to this day. I've ordered it numerous times, in a myriad of ways throughout Italy, Sicily, Greece and the States.
Whether boiled, braised, baked, marinated, grilled, seared or charred.. step one is to tenderize.
This recipe reveals one guaranteed way to create a tender, tasty dish that your foodie friends will praise you for.
Italian cuisine is born of humble roots, fresh ingredients, traditional flavors and love.
This is for all of you, who love food as much as the Italians do.
"First we eat, then we do everything else." - M.F.K. Fisher
Ingredients for the Octopus:
3 lbs of frozen octopus (freezing helps tenderize)
3 quarts of 100% Spring water
1 cup of red wine
4-5 wine corks (real cork, not plastic. An enzyme in cork helps tenderize.)
4 cloves of organic garlic, whole and peeled
3-4 bay leaves
2 teaspoons of chopped dried Pepperoncini (crushed red pepper flakes)
1/4 teaspoon of Celtic sea salt
1/2 teaspoon organic dried oregano (more to taste)
fresh organic Italian flat leaf parsley (garnish)
fresh cracked black pepper to taste (or 20 whole peppercorns in water)
3 organic lemons
Imported extra virgin olive oil
**Step one is properly cleaning and prepping. This video explains exactly how:**
Sometimes it is cleaned for you. If not, you will need to remove the beak, ink and eyes.
Defrost frozen octopus and keep in fridge overnight.
Remove from fridge, and rinse before prepping (video above).
1. Once cleaning and prep is complete. Fill a large pot with 3 quarts of Spring water, 1 cup of red wine, 3-4 bay leaves, 2 tsp of dried crushed red pepper, 4-5 wine corks, 1/2 tsp Celtic sea salt,
2 peeled garlic cloves, 2 chopped shallots, and bring all ingredients to a boil.
3. Blanch tentacles in boiling water three times, for 10 seconds each time. (see video)
4. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover.
Note* Octopus needs to be braised slowly. On average, a simmer of 30 minutes per pound is suggested. That depends on the pot and the heat. I found this 3 lb gem to be perfectly tender in 60 minutes sharp. Poke with a skewer or fork to test.
5. Remove from pot and place in large bowl or cookie sheet to cool.
6. In a separate bowl combine olive oil, 2 cloves finely chopped fresh garlic, pinch of salt and dried oregano. Whisk and let sit.
7. Once octopus is cooled, gently massage the dark, gelatinous skin off each tentacle
(or leave on for a crispy charred effect when grilling.)
8. Slice tentacles from head and brush with olive oil/garlic/oregano mixture.
9. Over medium-high heat you can pan sear, broil or grill for 2-3 minutes per side. Once browned, remove and plate.
10. Drizzle olive oil, fresh squeezed lemon, and fresh parsley.
11. Serve as an appetizer over greens, in a seafood salad with citrus vinaigrette , or as an entrée with potatoes and arugala.
I made a Sicilian orange butter sauce for dipping which was spicy, sweet and creamy.
Sicilian Orange Beurre Blanc - makes 1 1/2 cups- cut recipe in half for 2-3 lb octopus.
* Octopus Serves 4 as an appetizer (two tentacles per person).
Buon Appetito Tutti!
Dalla Cucina di Laura~
Was there ever a Goddess of Love & Food? I bet her name was Laura Maria!
"Hummus" comes from the Arabic word meaning "chick peas", however many chefs have made their own variations over time. Garbanzo beans, Lentil beans, Cannellini Beans, Black beans, even Lima beans have given this traditional dip a significant twist.
(Though you will never catch me eating a Lima bean.)
Beans for some can be incredibly healthy and satisfying. But for those with sensitive tummies, they are a digestive nightmare. Even soaking and sprouting don't help much for certain metabolic types. Thank God we have chefs with creativity, and a plethora of nature's best to play with!!
The foundation for today's dish is yummy artichoke hearts!
So blend up a tasty snack and imagine yourself on the beaches of Santorini!
I'll meet you there for sunset :)
Serve with your favorite julienned veggies, or healthy flax crackers (like the Lemon-Chia flavor from Foods Alive shown here) www.foodsalive.com/Crackers-Snackers-Onion-Rings-s/98.htm
Great on top a veggie burger or..
Especially fantastic with grilled lamb chops.
The unique flavor combinations are limited only to your imagination!
Think of avocado/lime hummus or carrot/beet!
How about truffle/mushroom hummus or pine nut/basil?
Pumpkin Pie. Turmeric/ginger.
Habanero/apricot or blueberry/mint!
For a serious sweet tooth- think candied apple/pecan or caramel/raw cacao!
Tickle your taste buds and enjoy the show.
Buon Appetito Tutti~
Dalla Cucina di Laura~
Polenta alla Puttanesca – (in the style of the prostitute)
Puttanesca sauce. How did it get its colorful name? There are many stories about this spicy/salty sauce, but here is my naughty favorite:
It begins with the fact that puttanesca is derived from the Italian word puttana, a colloquial term for prostitute.
Puttanesca was a simple sauce that could easily be created by the business savvy ladies of the night in between “appointments”. The robust aromas of the intense, simmering sauce would lure men off the streets and in to their brothels.
Clients found a “two for the price of one” deal- a smoking-hot spaghetti dish and a sensual siren for dessert! Guaranteed to please every aspect of the male appetite.
Though the risqué etymology of this gastronomic gem cannot be confirmed, there is one thing everyone can agree on… It is delicious!!!
So throw your passion into the pot with wild abandon! This is an incredibly intense sauce! Serve in stilettos and thigh highs for fifty shades of culinary curiosity.
This dish pairs best with a sexy salad, robust red wine, and a feisty Italian female.
Grab your gusto, channel your seductive side and lure your lover into your lair.
Sunday dinner will never be the same.
Polenta alla Puttanesca ingredients:
· Organic pre-cooked polenta
· 4-5 tablespoons imported extra-virgin olive oil
· 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
· 8 anchovy fillets packed in oil
· 3 tablespoons organic tomato paste
· 1 (28-ounce) can of drained San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes
· ½ cup Italian blend olives, pitted
· ¼ cup drained and rinsed capers
· Sea salt, pepper and pepperoncini (crushed red pepper flakes) to taste
· 2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
· Pinch or two of oregano
· Freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano
· Zest of 1 lemon
· Whole basil leaves for garnish
· In a large sauce pan add 2 tablespoons oil, chopped garlic and anchovies. Simmer over medium heat for about 3-5 minutes. Blend in tomato paste, then canned tomatoes. Season lightly with salt and pepper and pepperoncini.
· Stir in oregano, basil, olives and capers, simmering and stirring occasionally, until it thickens, about 30 minutes. May add water if too thick.
· Meanwhile, slice the room temperature pre-cooked polenta into one inch discs. Brush each side with butter and place on cookie sheet. Broil on High until each side is browned.
· Break up whole tomatoes in sauce with a spatula or fork. Remove sauce from stove, fold in lemon zest and place over polenta.
· Top with parmigiano reggiano cheese and fresh whole basil leaves.
Buon Appetito Amore!
*Notes on Variations:
The Neapolitan variation, spaghetti alla partenopea, is made with anchovies and generous amounts of oregano. Spaghetti alla siciliana includes the addition of green peppers, while another Sicilian variation from Palermo includes olives, anchovies and raisins.
This dish typically does not include meat. However, beef/veal/pork sausage or ground chicken can easily be added.
Dalla Cucina di Laura
"If someone tells you to stay away from chocolate, stop talking to them.
You do not need that kind of negativity in your life!" ~David Avocado Wolfe
Place all ingredients, except chocolate bar, in a food processor and pulse until blended.
Transfer mixture to a bowl.
On low heat, place the 85% Cacao Bar in a glass bowl over a pot of boiling water (break into small pieces). Stir constantly until melted. Remove heat and let sit.
Roll macaroon mixture into round balls 1-2 tbsp in size. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. With a large spoon drizzle the melted dark chocolate over each treat and and sprinkle coarse sea salt on top.
Refrigerate in glass, air tight containers or freeze!
Buon Appetito Tutti! Baci xx
Dalla Cucina di Laura~
"What do you mean he eat no meat?...(entire room goes silent)
Ah, that's ok....I make Lamb."~ Aunt Vuola- My Big, Fat, Greek Wedding
1 large (or 2 small) green cabbage
1 pound of organic, grass-fed beef, lamb, veal, or pork (or combination)
1 bunch of organic Italian flat leaf parsley (leaves only), finely chopped
1 large finely diced sweet onion
2-3 tbsp Greek, Italian or Spanish olive oil
2-3 tbsp grass-fed, organic butter (like Kerry Gold)
Celtic sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Avgolemono (Egg-Lemon) Sauce:
4 large, organic eggs- whisked
3 medium lemons, juiced
2 tbsp grass fed, organic butter
Celtic sea salt
1 tbsp coconut flour, freshly ground
Parsley leaves and toasted pine nuts for garnish.
Paprika and cayenne pepper (optional)
In a pot of boiling water with salt, cook the whole cabbage (stem removed with knife) until al dente, approximately 5 minutes on each side. (save water)
Remove from water and separate leaves one by one.
In a pan heat 2 tbsp olive oil and 2 tsp butter. Add ground meat, then onions and parsley.
Sautee until cooked. (add sea salt, fresh ground pepper, paprika and/or cayenne for spice)
Put approximately 2 tbsp of meat mixture into each cabbage leaf and roll (folding in corners)
Keep warm and place them in a glass oven pan.
Grind dried coconut in a spice grinder and add pure spring water to dilute.
Add eggs (one by one) and whisk well.
Add freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1 tbsp butter and hot water left from boiling cabbage.
Keep on very low heat in sauce pan, whisking constantly.
Add cabbage water as needed so sauce stays liquid.
Plate cabbage rolls, and top with Avgolemono sauce.
Garnish with fresh parsley leaves, salt and toasted pine nuts.
Buon Appetito! Baci xx