NuNaturals

dark chocolate mint truffles

I had a conversation about tempering chocolate the other day.

Actually, the conversation was partly about how I am doing it wrong – this is my own declaration. I do not use a double boiler, I do not use glass bowls over water, I definitely do not use a microwave (okay, so I am not doing it completely wrong…)

dark chocolate mint truffles

If you have read any of my previous truffle recipes, you may already know this – all I do is chop chocolate, then melt it in a pan at the absolutely lowest setting my gas stove allows, stirring constantly and rapidly with a spatula. That’s it.

Works every time, and whether dipping truffles or painting chocolate into molds for filled truffles, it hardens into the shiny coating you find sparkling back at you from the chocolate counter at the candy store.

These truffles have a rich melty center with the perfect hint of mint. I am making them for my valentine, and for a few well deserving friends…

Today I am not only sharing with you my absolute favorite truffle recipe ever, but I have a giveaway as well – with four winners!

dark chocolate mint truffles

[click to continue…]

{ 73 comments }

You know the weekend was a good one when the whole household is passed out sleeping by 9 pm. In the living room, on the couches, in front of the television.

These last couple weeks have been an exciting whirlwind, and this weekend that kept going – our schedule was full from morning to night both days. I am in no way complaining, because we had a great time.

So many great times.

One of them was a going away party for a dear friend who is moving back home, back to Missouri. The party was as epic and fabulous as she is – she broke her own rule of “there will be no crying”. Friends flew in to surprise her. Several bands played. There was grilling and a huge table full of food.

I brought desserts. They had to be colorful, they had to be over the top.

These were definitely a hit and did not last long.

orange zested rainbow crispies

inspired by this recipe

vegan, dairy free

makes 9-12 squares

2 tablespoons butter (Earth Balance) 
10 oz package marshmallows (Dandies vegan!)
zest of 1 orange
1-2 droppers Orange NuStevia

6 cups Trix cereal

Zest the orange (grapefruit zest is good also), set aside. Melt butter in saucepan, add marshmallows and orange stevia. Stir over medium heat until melted. Remove from heat, add rice puffs, stir until combined. Add orange zest, mix completely. Press into prepared pan (9×9 square makes tall rice crispies!) cover and let set. 

Safe travels, Jeni Mae. Have grand adventures and we will see you soon!

 

{ 65 comments }

Whew.

It’s April, isn’t it?

Q1 was bull-shirt. Stressful, exhausting, trying. I told Jason Second Quarter Owes Us. I am keeping my fingers crossed that things will be looking up. I already know of two things that are… more on that later.

In good news, spring is most definitely here – we have been having perfectly lovely weather in Portland! I walk outside at 5:30 in the morning and it’s warm, the birds are out and it smells so fresh and … springy! It is light until after 8pm now, and I cannot wait until the height of summer where it is light until after 9pm.

Spring and summer bring new flavors, fresh picked garden produce, lighter eats. My favorite time of year, food wise.

Spring also brings new flavors to the NuNaturals line – a lemon and an orange! I have already made several tasty treats with these flavors, and the first I am sharing?

Cookies! and four chances to try both of the new flavors!

cardamom citrus cookies

makes 20-24 cookies

gluten, dairy, egg and soy free, vegan

1 cup butter (Earth Balance soy free)
2 full droppers Orange NuStevia
1 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 1/2 cups flour (gluten free ap)
1 tablespoon milk (vanilla hazelnut)

Cream together butter and Orange NuStevia. Add flour, cardamom and cinnamon, stir together these three ingredients before folding into butter, adding milk by the tablespoon as necessary. Combine until dough forms, do not over mix. Dough should be fluffy and slightly tacky, but not too sticky to roll with your hands (if it is, use flour on your hands to roll, or drop dough by spoonful). Roll into one inch balls, place on prepared (parchment, spray or silpat) cookie sheet and sprinkle with more cardamom (optional). Bake at 350 for about 12 – 15 minutes.

These cookies are light, powdery-buttery and melt in your mouth good.

These new citrus flavors? They are very flavorful – real citrus taste and scent. Would you like to try them?

Giveaway is for one of each of the Lemon and Orange NuNaturals bottles – four winners will be randomly picked.

Six ways to enter, please leave a comment for each:

1) What is your favorite way to cook with citrus?

2) follow NuNaturals on twitter

3) follow spabettie on twitter and tweet this: 

win a one of four prizes  NuNaturals Orange and Lemon flavors – giveaway from @spabettie –>  http://spabettie.com/?p=9594

4) like NuNaturals on facebook

5) like spabettie on facebook

6) Pin this.

Enter through midnight Monday. Winner announced Tuesday.

Thanks to everyone for the entries – winners are:

#65 – Jared

#11 – Heather

#95 – Jack

#54 – Elle

Congratulations, everyone! Please email me with your full name and address.


{ 97 comments }

You might recall the new york cheesecake I made last month? Before I created it I had big plans for that cheesecake. Plans that turned into something crazy tasty.

The fresh blackberries from the farmers market are so tart – sweet right now, and are a perfect companion to the creamy rich cheesecake as they float around in this velvety vanilla ice cream. The graham crust of the cheesecake takes it over the top.

blackberry cheesecake ice cream

vegan, gluten free, dairy free

1 cup fresh blackberries
2 slices cheesecake

1 cup non dairy creamer
2 cups non dairy milk
2 tablespoons vanilla
1 tablespoon NuNaturals More Fiber™ Baking Blend™
1 tablespoon tapioca flour

Mix 1/4 cup creamer with tapioca flour, stir until blended and set aside. Combine remaining creamer, milk, vanilla and morefiber in saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, add tapioca mixture and combine. Place in fridge to cool completely – at least one hour.

Meanwhile, cut cheesecake into small bite size pieces. Then cut more to replace the pieces you ate.

Pour ice cream base into maker and prepare according to manufacturer directions. Add blackberries and cheesecake pieces in the last couple minutes, after ice cream has formed, continue to churn. Transfer to freezer to firm – several hours to overnight. 

I couldn’t wait that long. I had to try some after only a few minutes – just as long as it took me to clean my ice cream maker.

The other half of this cheesecake is currently tucked away in the freezer. What kind of ice cream should I make next?

What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

 

{ 49 comments }

Last weekend we celebrated not only my Dad’s birthday, but his retirement! Go Dad! A geek for all things electronic and an engineer his whole career, Dad jokes that in retirement he can take up chemical engineering – converting beer, wine and whiskey into waste water.

He also wants a chauffeur.

I made him triple layer bars in lieu of a birthday cake. I figured the occasion was deserving of something special.

The base layer is a cookie that is tasty enough to stand on it’s own, I have made cookie balls out of this dough. The middle layer is an incredibly dense and fudgy brownie, just how I like them. The brownies are also great on it’s own. The frosting. Rich, buttery, scrumtrulescent.

;)

When I looked up that link, I was happy to see the guest was someone I love, and who from now on will make me think of this friend. The video is funny, you should take a minute and watch…

Also? that frosting? Good on it’s own.

vanilla coffee fudge bars

coffee oat cookie layer

1 1/2 cups oat bran
1 cup garbanzo & fava flour
1 tablespoon Godiva French Vanilla Coffee

2 teaspoons chia seeds
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch sea salt
1/2 cup applesauce
2 eggs (flax)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup carob chips

Combine oat bran, flour, coffee, dry chia seeds, soda and salt, set aside. In a separate bowl, combine prepared flax eggs (2 tablespoons ground flax + 6 tablespoons warm water = 2 eggs), applesauce, oil and vanilla. Add to dry ingredients, stir until just combined. Stir in carob chips. Press into prepared 9×13 baking dish, partially bake at 350 for 10 minutes only. Remove from oven and set aside.

Prepare brownie layer:

coffee fudge brownies

1 cup applesauce
1/4 cup olive oil
1 egg (flax)
10-15 drops NuNaturals Vanilla Stevia
3/4 cup garbanzo & fava flour
1/3 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1 1/2 tablespoons Godiva Chocolate Truffle Coffee
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
pinch sea salt
1/2 cup chocolate chunks (Enjoy Life Mega Chunks)

Prepare flax egg (1 tablespoon ground flax + 3 tablespoons warm water = 1 egg) and combine with applesauce, oil and stevia. Combine flours, cocoa, coffee, soda, and salt, add to applesauce mixture. Stir in chocolate chunks. Pour over cookie base, bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely.

Prepare third layer, the frosting:

vanilla cashew frosting

1 cup raw cashew pieces, soaked overnight
10 drops NuNaturals Vanilla Stevia
3/4 – 1 cup powdered sugar 

Drain soaked cashews and place in food processor, reserve the soaking liquid if needed. Process cashews until crumbly, starting to go smooth. Add stevia drops, continue to process. Add powdered sugar 1/4 cup at a time while processing. Keep adding until desired smooth consistency is reached, adding water if needed. Frost bars when completely cool. Store in refrigerator.

These are worth the extra time – and so is my Dad. Congratulations on retirement and happy birthday, Dad! Love you!

Did you watch the video? :D What is your favorite game show?

Happy Friday and have a great weekend!

 

 

{ 99 comments }

I have been cooking with chia seeds longer than… I have been reading blogs. We stocked them in the dispensary at the clinic, and I started out adding them to salads. I learned what happens when mixed with water – they turn to a gel – and I started using them in smoothies and baking.

Why chia? Many reasons:

It is a plant based complete protein (energy!), and a plant based source of omega-3 (heart health!). Chia seeds are high in antioxidants as well as calcium, magnesium, niacin, zinc and fiber. Chia has a long shelf life (more than flax) and nutrients are available as is, rather than having to be ground (like flax).

Also? You can bake with them, reducing the butter or oil in a traditional recipe.

Chai is one of my favorite flavors – warm and spicy – and it makes a unique and tasty cookie!

The chai powder I use is a ready to drink tea powder, not a concentrate. If you are using a concentrated powder, reduce the amount to taste.

chai chia protein bites

makes 10-12 cookie balls

1/2 cup sunflower seed butter
1/4 cup chai tea powder (Natures Flavors)
3 tablespoons chia seeds (reserve 1 tbsp for topping)
1 can cannellini beans, rinsed
5 – 8 drops NuNaturals Vanilla Stevia

In food processor or blender, puree beans. Add sunflower butter, chai and stevia, blend. It should form a ball of dough, if it is still crumbly, add a tiny amount of water, a teaspoon at a time. Process – it should quickly form a dough ball.

Stirring by hand, 2 tablespoons of chia seeds. Form into 1-inch balls and roll into the last tablespoon of chia seeds (just across top of ball). Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.

What is your favorite tea? Do you use chia seeds? Did you ever have a Chia Pet?

I shared this post with Wellness Weekends over at Diet Dessert and Dogs! Go visit for some great recipes!


{ 84 comments }

My current obsession? Those garbanzo cookie balls. Yes, still. What has been fun is seeing how many others love them too – how have I never seen these when people have been making them all along?

I’m always late to the party. I have brought others along to the party since, though. I’ve also thought up some pretty interesting flavor combinations. I have a lot to catch you all up on.

For my latest flavor, I looked for mint chocolate chips, and could not find any that were vegan, or without dairy. I do have readily available fresh mint, however.

fresh mint & chocolate chickpea cookie balls

1 can chickpeas, rinsed and peeled
2/3 cup peanut butter
1 tablespoon flour (I used peanut flour!)
8 – 10 drops NuNaturals Vanilla Stevia
water as needed
1 dark chocolate bar, chopped (or 1 cup chocolate chips)
4-5 fresh mint leaves, chopped or ripped

In food processor or blender, puree chickpeas. Add peanut butter, flour and stevia, blend. It should form a ball of dough, if it is still crumbly, add a tiny amount of water, a teaspoon at a time. Process – it should quickly form a dough ball.

Stirring by hand, add chocolate and mint. Form into 1-inch balls. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.

You have to eat one warm from the oven. Melty chocolatey minty delicious.

The original chocolate chip flavor tastes fabulous as is. The mint flavor adds a layer of freshness that any mint-chocolate fan will love. The nutritional stats aren’t too shabby either (for two cookies). Look at that fiber!

Happy Wednesday!


{ 134 comments }

As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program, I received another new product to sample – Newtons Fruit Thins. I was happy to see they sent me the Fig and Honey flavor, as I love figs! There are other flavors that sound good – Chocolate Raspberry, Cranberry Citrus Oat and Blueberry Brown Sugar.

A thin crispy cookie, they contain real fruit and whole grains (8 grams per serving). I love a thin crispy cookie and these were good!

I cannot leave well enough alone, though. I had to make a sandwich cookie out of them – with more fig!

vanilla fig spread

fills 8 sandwich cookies

8 dried figs
6 Medjool dates, pitted
10 drops NuNaturals Vanilla Stevia
1 tablespoon nut butter
1 tablespoon chia seed gel

Process in food processor. Spread on cookie, top with another cookie. Enjoy!

The cookies are tasty on their own, and with this spread sandwiched between, just lovely. This spread is also good as an oatmeal topping, rolled into a ball as an energy bite, eaten off a spoon

While I received product from Foodbuzz for review – I am never compensated to give a positive review.

{ 53 comments }