Grain-Free Chocolate Cookies

Over the last couple of months, I have become obsessed with this DIY paleo flour blend. Not only is it way cheaper to make your own blend, but it also took all of the guesswork out for me because when it comes to using coconut flour, I literally fail every. single. time. But with this blend I have created a birthday cake/cupcakes as well as some cookie recipes. They may, or may not, all make it on the blog! This recipe is a huge hit with my entire family (parents included). I was inspired to create these cookies after trying Simple Mills Double Chocolate Cookies – if you read my March Favorites blog post, you already know my love for this company. They use minimal ingredients…and ingredients I feel good about letting Willow eat – no gums, additives, “natural” flavors, or refined sugar.

RECIPE: Grain-Free Chocolate Cookies

Now, the texture isn’t as crispy as Simple Mills (I didn’t use or have konjac root) and they aren’t flat, but I’m really excited about how well they turned out! A slightly crispy exterior, soft center (I very much dislike the word moist, but I’ll say it), and they melt in your mouth. They’re like little buttery orbs of deliciousness! I made these with my little chocoholic in mind and she loves them so much…in fact, she’d be content with eating the dough! I plan to make them using carob instead of cacao and when i do, I’ll update this post with the outcome.

*UPDATE – the carob trial was fantastic! Instead of the two tablespoons of cacao powder, I used one tablespoon of carob. And I paired it with 2 TBSP tahini + 1 TBSP coconut oil. I gotta say, I think this is my new favorite way to make them!*

I have made these countless times and with different variations: using almond butter instead of coconut oil, leaving out the chocolate chips, adding flax egg, flattening them before baking, and a few other ways. The recipe, as it’s written below, is my family’s favorite version.

The trials I ran using a flax egg required an additional 2 tablespoons of paleo flour blend and the outcome was more of a brownie-like cookie and not at all crispy. I’ll have instructions below for this variation.

Here’s a photo of a batch using flax egg:

RECIPE: Grain-Free Chocolate Cookies

GRAIN-FREE CHOCOLATE COOKIES: {soy-free, gluten-free dairy-free, vegan, paleo, oil-free option}

Makes 8-10 small cookies

Brownie-like variation will make 12-14 small cookies

What you need:

  • 1/4 cup + 2 TBSP paleo flour blend*
  • 3 Tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons tigernut flour
  • 2 Tablespoons organic cacao powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch Himalayan salt
  • 3 Tablespoons softened (not melted) coconut oil or creamy almond butter*
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons organic, fair trade chocolate chips (optional)

* I know Bob’s Red Mill has a paleo flour blend, but I have not tried it – so cannot verify the outcome. Before measuring your flour, please shake it really well to mix up the flours and DO NOT scoop it out with a measuring cup, but rather spoon the flour into a measuring cup so that the flour doesn’t get overly packed in.

*Please DO NOT use melted coconut oil! Keep it in a softened, solid state. Use coconut oil for a crispier cookie and almond butter for a softer cookie. Both are equally delicious! I’ve even used a combo of both in a few batches…including the batch in these photos.

How to:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, cacao powder, baking soda, and salt. Then, stir in the coconut oil (or almond butter), and vanilla (if using). Mix until creamed together and the dough sticks together. I use my hands to really incorporate the ingredients. You’ll be tempted to add in extra oil or butter – trust me, don’t do it 🙂 Next, stir in the chocolate chips, if using.
  3. Roll the dough into small balls, leave about one inch of space between the cookies, do not overcrowd them and bake for 12-18 minutes. My oven requires longer baking times, which is why there is a wide baking time frame. Once they start cracking on the top, it is time to remove them. If you are looking for a crispier cookie, increase the baking time by 2-3 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet before carefully transferring them to a cooling rack. I recommend letting them cool completely before eating. If you try to eat them right as they’re done, you’ll have a crumbly mess!
  5. Enjoy with a glass of nut milk, coffee, or tea.
  6. Store any leftovers in an airtight container.

**VARIATION: for a brownie-like cookie add 2 extra tablespoons of the paleo flour blend (making a total of 1/4 cup + 4 TBSP) and when incorporating the wet ingredients, add in one flax egg (1 TBSP ground flax + 3 TBSP water…allow the flax egg to set for at least five minutes before adding the dough). These will spread out a bit while baking, unlike the original recipe – so spacing is important.

RECIPE: Grain-Free Chocolate Cookies

RECIPE: Grain-Free Chocolate Cookies

RECIPE: Grain-Free Chocolate Cookies

If you make these, please come back and let me know how they turned out! I’d love to hear from you!
Thanks for stopping by!

RECIPE: Chocolate Muffins

Funny story about these muffins – I created this recipe months ago, but when I went to type up the blog post, my notes got all jumbled together and I couldn’t figure out which trial was the one. I stared at four separate pieces of paper with jotted measurements and couldn’t figure it out! I was SO bummed! Last week I decided to revisit this recipe and took a guess as to which piece of paper held the winner, but also made a couple of simple adjustments. The house smelled amazing, they looked like muffins, and the taste test…

Willow: “Mom! Did you know you’re the best baker?”

I certainly wouldn’t go that far, but it’s always sweet to get a compliment from your child because they’re blunt + honest. Guess we figured these out!

Whew!

These aren’t dry like many of the gluten-free muffins I’ve had and they’re not overly sweet…which means they’re ok for breakfast, right?

RECIPE: Chocolate Muffins

Inspecting for chocolate chips!

CHOCOLATE MUFFINS {gluten-free, soy-free, oil-free, oat-free, vegan}

Makes 9 muffins or 8 mini loaves

What you need:

  • 1 cup King Arthur Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour*
  • 1 cup blanched almond flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons cacao powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan salt
  • 3/4 cups unsweetened plant milk (I’ve used almond and cashew)
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 flax eggs (2 TBSP ground flax + 6 TBSP warm water)
  • 1/2 TBSP blackstrap molasses
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup Enjoy Life mini chips

*This is my favorite all-purpose, gluten-free flour as it doesn’t contain any gums or chickpea flour (which can overpower baked goods).

DSCN1962

How to:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F and lightly grease your muffin pan or mini loaf pan.
  2. In a small bowl, prepare your flax eggs and set aside to thicken.
  3. Next, measure out your milk in a liquid measuring cup and add the 1 teaspoon of ACV. Mix and set aside.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, add all of the dry ingredients (except the chocolate chips) and whisk until incorporated – breaking up any clumps from the almond flour.
  5. Then add all the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until well combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  6. Using a spoon, fill the muffin cups about 1/2-3/4 of the way full. You can sprinkle extra chocolate chips on top, if you’d like.
  7. Bake for 18-22 minutes; you want the tops to spring back when touched and the toothpick test should come back clean.
  8. Allow to cool in the pan for at least 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.
  9. ENJOY!

Like a lot of baked goods, these are best the day they’re made. I recommend storing any leftovers in the fridge and warming them in the oven for the best flavor…or you can eat them cold.

RECIPE: Chocolate Muffins

RECIPE: Chocolate Muffins

RECIPE: Chocolate MuffinsIf you really want to take these muffins over the top, sneak 1/4-1/2 square of dark chocolate into each muffin cup while filling – you get a nice, melty, chocolate surprise in the center! I got that idea from my friend, Diana, and I can tell you first hand that it’s pretty fantastic.

You can also add a bit of cinnamon and/or espresso powder to the batter for a richer flavor.

RECIPE: Chocolate Muffins

We used 1/2 square of Theo 70% dark chocolate in each muffin. After sneaking the chocolate in there, be sure to top with more of the batter.

 

RECIPE: Chocolate Muffins

RECIPE: Chocolate Muffins

Thanks for stopping by!

RECIPE: Rich, Creamy (Vegan) Hot Cocoa

RECIPE: Rich, Creamy (Vegan) Hot Cocoa // Be Sol-Ful Living

After a day of sledding or snow fort building, there was nothing better than warming up to a mug of cocoa. For me, every time I sip on hot cocoa, I’m flooded with childhood memories of playing out in the snow and cold with my brother – and we’d come inside to hot cocoa with marshmallows. My grandmother used to make some of the best homemade hot cocoa and I’m pretty sure it was because she used whole milk and for all I know, she could have used Hershey’s syrup, but it was darn good. For the last couple of years, I’ve been making my own homemade version and my sweet Willow LOVES it. Josh has been on me to share my recipe here on the blog, but it seems so simple and silly to me…but with winter upon us now I guess there’s no better time!

IMG_7179

IMG_7284

 

 

The key to this recipe comes in two parts:

  • The addition of full fat coconut milk to make it extra creamy
  • The coconut sugar-maple syrup combo gives it a rich, somewhat caramel-y, sweet flavor.

RICH, CREAMY (VEGAN) HOT COCOA:

Gluten-free, Soy-free, Dairy-free, Oil-free, Vegan

Serves 2-4

What you need:

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or your choice of milk)
  • 1 cup coconut milk (preferably full fat)
  • 2-3 heaping Tablespoons raw cacao powder (use 3 for a richer flavor)
  • 1.5-2 Tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • pinch Himalayan salt
  • Optional Add ins: 1/2-1 tsp peppermint extract/flavor OR 1 tsp pure vanilla extract OR a square of dark chocolate OR 1/4-1/2 tsp Ceylon cinnamon.

How to:

  1. In a small pot, gently warm your milk over medium-low heat, whisking often. You DO NOT want the milk to come to a boil – steaming is OK,  just not boiling (approx 10-12 minutes). Don’t worry if it isn’t “hot” enough because you’re going to whirl it in the Vitamix and it will warm up some more. If you’re using the additional square of chocolate, add it to the milk to melt.
  2. Once the milk is warmed up, carefully pour it into a high speed blender with the remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth and frothy, approximately 1-2 minutes. Adjust the sweetness level as needed. If it’s not warm enough for you, simply return the mixture to your pot and heat on the stove. I keep it on the cooler side for Willow’s sake.
  3. Pour into mugs and top with whipped cream or marshmallows! Enjoy!

*** For an added superfood boost, after blending the ingredients together, add in 1 teaspoon mesquite powder + 1 teaspoon maca, then whirl again for a few seconds. This combo isn’t recommended if you’re using peppermint.

*** If you don’t have a Vitamix or high-speed blender, that’s ok! Simply warm the milk over the stove with all of the ingredients (except the peppermint or vanilla), whisking often. Once heated to desired temp, remove from heat and whisk in the peppermint or vanilla (if using). I love using the Vitamix to get the super frothy top.

RECIPE: Rich, Creamy (Vegan) Hot Cocoa

RECIPE: Rich, Creamy (Vegan) Hot Cocoa

 

 

DSCN1938

I’ve shared how I make my whipped cream before, but I’ve since then learned a trick for a guaranteed perfect batch! I have tried literally every brand of organic full fat coconut milk and hands down the best one is Whole Foods brand and it’s always 2 for $4. I know it has guar gum (I try to avoid too many “gums”), but I’ve tried a couple brands without it and you will never get a thick, fluffy whipped cream AND the flavor was really bad, in my opinion. You can also use Trader Joe’s canned coconut cream, but it is very strong in coconut flavor (my mom wasn’t a fan when I used it). Ok, so the trick?!? Before you buy the can, give it a little shake and if you hear a lot of sloshing around, don’t buy it! Sounds silly, but since learning this trick, I’ve made successful whipped cream every single time!

Homemade Coconut Whipped Cream:

What you need:

  • 1 can organic full fat coconut milk (use two cans for a bigger batch)
  • Your choice of sweetener (maple syrup, coconut nectar, coconut sugar, etc.)

How to:

  1. Chill the coconut milk can in the fridge for 24 hours, at least.
  2. Chill your mixing bowl in the freezer for 10-15 minutes prior to making the whipped cream.
  3. Gently turn the coconut milk can upside down, open it, discard the liquid and scoop the thick cream into your chilled mixing bowl.
  4. Mix until fluffy and smooth – adding sweetener, as desired (I usually do a drizzle of pure maple syrup). Store any leftovers in the fridge and use within a couple of days.
RECIPE: Rich, Creamy (Vegan) Hot Cocoa

Willow insisted on a chocolate chip topping…surprise, surprise!

RECIPE: Rich, Creamy (Vegan) Hot Cocoa

RECIPE: Rich, Creamy (Vegan) Hot Cocoa

 

 

 

Thanks for stopping by!

REVIEW: September Favorites

Hello, friends! I don’t know about you, but September flew by faster than any month so far. Hard to believe that the holidays are fast approaching. You’ll be happy to hear that this post isn’t nearly as long as my Summer Favorites round-up! We didn’t try very many new products and my list of books and recipes is short and sweet. As always, if you have any current favorites, please leave me a comment below!

PRODUCTS WE TRIED & LOVED:

Kite Hill Yogurts >>

REVIEW: September Favorites

Kite Hill is a Whole Foods Exclusive brand @ $1.89/ea

If you follow me on Instagram, you probably read how excited I was when these hit our Whole Foods right around Labor Day. I’ve mentioned Kite Hill in a previous favorites post for their Soft Fresh Truffle Chive & Dill product. When I heard that they were coming out with a yogurt, I knew they were going to be amazing. I’ve purchased quite a few other dairy-free yogurts, but none blew me away. The texture was always off or they were overly sweet. When I pulled back the label of Kite Hill’s Blueberry yogurt, my eyes lit up. No curdled, chunky texture, just smooth, creamy deliciousness. I’ve tried all of the options (Plain, Vanilla, Blueberry, Strawberry and Peach) and loved every single one. I was never a fan of the fruit-filled or fruit-on-the-bottom yogurts, but I have to say, these were outstanding. They didn’t require a lot of stirring/mixing up and the fruit actually tasted fresh. If you ask Willow, she’ll tell you Vanilla is her favorite…but she’ll eat around the fruit in the others.

REVIEW: September Favorites

PASCHA Chocolate: 70% Cacao {Organic, Allergen Free}  >> Another Whole Foods find and well worth the price…although, my mom purchased it (on sale) and put it in my shopping bag when I wasn’t looking. It is often times difficult to find chocolate that doesn’t contain soy lecithin, so I’m always excited when I find a brand that is soy-free. This chocolate is incredibly smooth and rich, but not intense like a lot of dark chocolate (I actually love the really intense flavors). What attracted me most to this company was how they use very few ingredients and all of it fair trade and organic. Their chocolate is also made in a dedicated allergen free facility, which is huge. Our Whole Foods carries two of their full size chocolate bars (as seen in the photo below) and their mini bars. On their website, I noticed that they offer several other options, such as one with maca, lucuma or Arabica coffee. The 70% cacao bar is Willow approved, but I’m pretty sure she’d love them all.

REVIEW: September Favorites

Yumbutter Organic Superfood Peanut Butter >> We’ve tried and loved their sunflower seed butter (mentioned in a favorites post a good bit back) and we finally got around to trying their peanut butter this month. SO good. Willow and I packed it with us to take on a recent rockhounding adventure and it hit the spot with Le Pain des fleurs Organic Buckwheat Crispbread.

Rockhounding treasures! LOTS of agates, Jasper and petrified wood.

Books I Read and Enjoyed:

I’ve read quite a few books over the last month or so, but here are the ones that stood out:

Cold Black Earth by Sam Reaves >> This was another Kindle First (free download) for me and it was a well written murder mystery. I only get to read after Willow is asleep and I found myself staying up until almost 1:00 AM because it was almost impossible to put down. I will admit, the book starts off slow, but stick with it…I promise it’s REALLY good. The author did a fantastic job pulling you in and there were times where my heart was racing and I was holding my breath. It takes place in a small town in Illinois (which is partly why I chose it) and is about a woman who comes back home after leaving the combat zone and a painful divorce in hopes to pick up the pieces. While back home, an inmate escapes from a local prison and murders begin. Just when I thought I had figured out who the killer was, I had to think again!

Good Night Yoga: A Pose-by-Pose Bedtime Story by Mariam Gates >> Every so often, we take Willow to Barnes & Noble to browse and sit on the floor to read a few books. We stumbled upon this sweet book and had to get it. She was so excited to add this into our nightly routine – we do each pose as a family before cuddling up in bed to read some books. The illustrations are beautiful and the author does a wonderful job of inducing relaxation. The poses are simple and we find Willow doing them throughout the day on her own. Such a perfect way to end the day.

REVIEW: September Favorites

Sitting Still Like a Frog: Mindfulness Exercises for Kids (and Their Parents) by Eline Snel >> My mom bought this book for us a good bit ago, but I just finished it last month. While the book is geared towards an older age group (5-12), I found it to be incredibly useful – I recommend it to every parent to read and reread. It’s a book to help with anxiety, stress and to help with concentration. It has definitely helped me to be more mindful over the last month. I’d like to share an excerpt from Chapter 2 (Parenting with Greater Mindfulness):

Presence enables you to be simply here – in contact with this moment. With these feelings and thoughts – open, curious, generous, and without an immediate opinion. Present with that small hand in yours. Present with the temper tantrum. Present with the daily school run. Present in all those moments of happiness, misfortune, routine, and everything in between. The more present you are, the less you miss. This is never a question of good or bad. Being fully present is enough.

This book goes hand in hand with my recent post – Unplug to Reconnect. It’s a gentle reminder to be present in this life – to become more focused and patient. I look forward to reading this again with Willow in a year or two. She wanted to read it now, but when she saw that it wasn’t quite a picture book like she’s used to, she lost interest. The book comes with a CD of guided exercises that I have not listened to yet.

REVIEW: September Favorites

Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson >> I am still reading this one, but I love it so far. I have my dear friend, Julie, to thank for the recommendation. It’s a young adult book that moves fast and keeps you on the edge of your seat. {Steelheart is book one in a series} The story takes place in a futuristic, post-apocalyptic city (Chicago) where we learn about Epics (people with extraordinary powers – evil) and Reckoners (ordinary people who have made it their mission to learn about the Epics’ individual weaknesses and assassinate them). The main character, David, has made it his life’s mission to eliminate Steelheart.

What I’m watching:

I thought I’d start a section in these ‘Favorites’ posts where I share any movies, shows, documentaries that I’ve watched during the month. We don’t have TV service, not even basic cable, so Netflix and Amazon Prime are our sources of entertainment.

True Detective Season 1 >> Josh and I watched this together via DVDs (eight episodes). It is a HBO series and season one stars Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey…enough said. Ok, I’m kidding, but seriously, you can’t really beat that pair. With each movie/show that I’ve seen with either one of those actors, I am blown away by their talent. This show wasn’t any different – they become the characters – it doesn’t feel like acting. True Detective is a crime drama about two detectives, “Rust” and “Marty,” and a 17-year manhunt. It’s dark, at times very heavy, but nothing short of amazing. We got sucked into the series before the first episode was even over.

REVIEW: September Favorites

Other shows I’ve been watching on occasion via Netflix & Amazon Prime:

  • Bones season 10
  • Covert Affairs
  • Justified

Recipes we tried and loved:

We made a lot of repeat recipes last month, along with creating our own, but here are the few we fell in love with:

Plant Strong Vegan:

Sriracha Sweet Chili Wings >> Words don’t even begin to describe how amazing this recipe is. The first time we made this, I forgot to grab the sweet chili sauce while grocery shopping, so I had to improvise. I used Coconut Aminos Teriyaki sauce and a little avocado oil. Willow LOVED them! Broccoli is my absolute favorite veggie, so finding new ways to cook it makes me happy. And when your picky toddler approves, even better. No joke, Willow requests this all the time. For example, just today she said to me, “Mom, can Dad bring some broccoli home tomorrow so we can have sticky broccoli?” That’s what she calls it – “sticky broccoli” ❤ We’ve made this several times – using teriyaki sauce and the way Margaret wrote the recipe (using Sriracha and sweet chili sauce)….the spicier recipe isn’t Willow friendly, so we make her a separate batch using a mild sauce of some sort. We made homemade pizza last week and chopped up the wings for a topping, along with some homemade white sauce. I love these way more than cauliflower wings – the texture is incredible and her method is genius. The one thing we learned to do is to brush a little oil on the parchment paper before putting the broccoli on there – makes for easier flipping.

REVIEW: September Favorites

Broccoli wings using Coconut Aminos Teriyaki sauce and avocado oil. Served with organic basmati rice.

REVIEW: September Favorites

Homemade pizza crust using the King Arthur gluten-free pizza crust recipe (leaving out buttermilk powder), topped with homemade white sauce and Plant Strong Vegan’s Sriracha Sweet Chili Wings. Ahhhhmazing!

REVIEW: September Favorites

Creamy Hemp Pesto Alfredo Fettuccine with Oil-Free Roasted Garlic >> This was a three-part recipe and each one fantastic. Just more evidence that hemp seeds are truly magical. I also love that Margaret shared her method for roasting garlic that didn’t require oil OR the use of aluminum foil. The creamy Alfredo sauce didn’t use the typical cashews as a base, which was a nice change…and less expensive to make. I loved how well the pesto paired with the Alfredo – it provided a big pop of flavor and I was pleasantly surprised when Willow approved of this meal. We’ll definitely be adding this recipe into our pasta night rotation!

The Vegan 8:

Fudgy Coconut Butter Brownies >> I knew these were going to be amazing before I even made them. Brandi is incredibly talented at creating dessert recipes that are oil-free. While I no longer follow a strict oil-free “diet” I do like to watch my consumption. If you make these, definitely go the extra step and make your own coconut butter…she provides instruction on how to do that if you’ve never made your own before. The brownies are insanely rich and fudgy – If you love chocolate like we do, you will love these…I promise.

REVIEW: September Favorites

Tex Mex Spaghetti Squash with Black Bean Guacamole (Oh She Glows} >> My dear friend, Diana, has raved about this recipe a few times and we FINALLY made it and loved it. Insanely easy to make and a short ingredient list. Sadly, Willow did not try this as she likes things to be separated…black beans on their own, avocado alone, and “noodles” in either cheeze sauce or tomato sauce…so this was far from being a Willow meal. That’s ok, that just meant more for Josh and me! Don’t worry, she didn’t starve, we made sure to prepare a pasta dish for her.

REVIEW: September Favorites

Thanks for stopping by!

RECIPE: Iced Tahini Mocha with Maple-Tahini-Cacao Sauce AND a GIVEAWAY

I warned you that there were going to be more tahini recipes! This one has even been approved by one of my dear friends, Diana, who hasn’t quite hopped over to the tahini lovers side. When tahini is paired with coffee AND chocolate, you’ve got a dangerous combo. If you follow me on Instagram, you already got a peek at this recipe for the Iced Tahini Mocha, but I’m also sharing the Maple-Tahini-Cacao Sauce to go with it. So, go get some coffee ice cubes set to make this delicious treat!

RECIPE: Iced Tahini Mocha with Maple-Tahini-Cacao Sauce

RECIPE: Iced Tahini Mocha with Maple-Tahini-Cacao Sauce

ICED TAHINI MOCHA {vegan, gluten-free, soy-free oil-free, refined sugar-free, nut-free}

Serves 1-2

What you need:

  • 4 Medjool dates, pitted*
  • 2 TBSP raw cacao powder
  • 2 heaping TBSP raw tahini
  • 1 tsp vanilla (powder or extract)
  • 1 tsp raw lucuma powder (opt)
  • 1 tsp raw mesquite powder (opt)
  • 1 1/4 – 1 1/2 cups of cold filtered water
  • 8 coffee ice cubes**

*If you aren’t a fan of dates, you can use maple syrup or coconut nectar to sweeten.

**You can use a coffee substitute such as Dandy Blend OR Click HERE for an oldie, but goodie recipe of mine for a Raw Mochaccino using all superfoods and no coffee or coffee substitutes. I apologize for the old photo, I’m working on getting some of my old recipes updated.

***For an added superfoods boost, add 1/2 – 1 teaspoon of reishi mushroom powder.

How to:

  1. Blend everything, but the coffee ice cubes until smooth.
  2. Add the coffee ice cubes and blend again. If you would like a thinner consistency, add more water or a neutral tasting “milk” such as almond or cashew milk.
  3. Optional – drizzle the glass with some Maple-Tahini-Cacao Sauce (see below for recipe).
  4. Optional – pour over ice. I drizzled some extra sauce on top – because, why not?!
  5. ENJOY!

Creamy, dreamy, rich, sweet and oh so chocolatey!

RECIPE: Iced Tahini Mocha with Maple-Tahini-Cacao Sauce

RECIPE: Iced Tahini Mocha with Maple-Tahini-Cacao Sauce

Maple-Tahini-Cacao Sauce

  • 1 TBSP raw cacao powder
  • 1 TBSP raw tahini
  • 2 tsp pure maple syrup
  • 2 tsp plant-based milk (more if needed)

In a small bowl, whisk together the cacao, tahini and maple syrup until “clumps” are smoothed out. Next add the milk and whisk again. The sauce will thicken up as it sits, so you might need to add more milk if not used right away.

RECIPE: Iced Tahini Mocha with Maple-Tahini-Cacao Sauce

Any leftover sauce can be stored in the fridge. It’s delicious on ice cream, smoothie bowls or eaten with a spoon!

<<GIVEAWAY>> Open to U.S. residents only, sorry!

If you follow me on Instagram, you already know that I finally reopened my Etsy shop! As of now I’m selling handmade lip balms using almost all organic/raw ingredients and will soon be selling lip scrubs, body butters and deodorants. I did a giveaway last month on IG for a couple of lip balms and as promised, I’m doing another one now that the shop is up and running. I’m giving away a lip balm to two of my readers/IG followers. All you have to do is leave a comment below telling me which lip balm flavor you would like if your name is drawn (Orange Cream or Peppermint) and some of your favorite essential oil scents! I’ll also be posting a photo on IG (@be.sol.ful) for a chance to enter the giveaway – so to increase your chances of winning, be sure to leave a comment there, too! I will be drawing a couple of names next Friday evening and will announce the winner on Saturday, May 23, 2015. Good luck!

Etsy shop >> https://etsy.com/shop/BeSolFul

Be Sol-Ful Orange Cream Lip Balm

Be Sol-Ful Peppermint Lip Balm

Thanks for stopping by!

RECIPE: Cacao Crunch Smoothie

Often times I just throw things in the Vitamix and don’t pay any attention to measurements…leaving me guessing when I try to replicate a delicious smoothie. Several weeks ago, I created a chocolate one that received quite a few ‘likes’ on Instagram, so I thought I would share the recipe here, for those who don’t follow me on IG. Luckily, this was one I kept track of as far as ingredients and measurements 🙂

CACAO CRUNCH SMOOTHIE: (vegan, gluten-free, soy-free)

Serves 2-2.5

What you need:

  • 4 frozen bananas, chopped
  • 2 TBSP raw almond butter *
  • 1-2 TBSP raw cacao powder (depending on how chocolatey you like it)
  • 1 TBSP lucuma
  • 2 tsp maca
  • 1 tsp mesquite powder
  • 1.5-2 cups cold filtered water to blend (can use nut/seed milk to make even creamier)
  • 2 TBSP raw cacao nibs
  • Optional toppings (blackstrap molasses, white mulberries, cacao nibs)

* use sunflower seed butter to make nut-free

I use Terrasoul, Navitas Naturals and/or Oijo when it comes to cacao, maca, lucuma, mesquite and other superfoods. Whole Foods and Natural Grocers often times stock these products. You can also order them online via Amazon, Vitacost or directly through their websites.

How to:

  1. Blend the bananas, almond butter, cacao, lucuma, maca and mesquite – gradually adding water until you reach your desired consistency.
  2. Add in the cacao nibs and blend briefly to combine.
  3. I drizzled my glass jar with a generous amount of blackstrap molasses, then poured in the thick chocolate smoothie. Toppings are optional, but I love adding them to my smoothies for crunch!
  4. Grab your straw and/or spoon and ENJOY!

Cacao Crunch Smoothie // Be Sol-Ful

You can add dates, coconut sugar or maple syrup if it isn’t sweet enough, but I felt the lucuma, blackstrap molasses and bananas provided just the right amount of sweetness.

If you make this, I’d love to see! Tag me on Instagram @besolful_vegan or use the hashtag #besolfulvegan

Thanks for stopping by!

RECIPE: Maple Crunch Granola {Oil-Free}

We LOVE granola, but it’s a struggle to find one we can eat without spending an arm and a leg.  Making your own not only saves you money, but you can also easily change up the flavor and texture. This time around, I was on a mission to create one that was not only full of flavor, but also oil-free. Here’s a recipe that will leave your house smelling like fresh-baked cookies….yum!

 

Maple Crunch Granola {Oil-Free} | Be Sol-Ful

 

MAPLE CRUNCH GRANOLA: {vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, oil-free, refined sugar-free}

What you need:

  • 2 cups gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup raw walnuts, chopped*
  • 1/4 cup coconut flakes
  • 2 TBSP raw cacao nibs
  • 1/4 tsp ground vanilla bean (can use pure vanilla extract)
  • pinch of Himalayan pink sea salt
  • 1/2 cup nut or seed butter (I did half PB, half raw almond butter)
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup dried fruit, such as blueberries, cranberries or raisins (for this batch I used organic raisins)

*For those who are also nut-free, you can omit the chopped walnuts/coconut flakes or replace them with seeds instead.

How to:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. In a medium size mixing bowl, combine the oats, walnuts, coconut flakes, cacao nibs, vanilla, and salt.
  3. Next stir in the nut/seed butter and maple syrup. Stir until everything sticks together and is well combined.
  4. On a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, place the granola mixture down evenly – using a spatula to lay it down flat.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes, then stir the granola around and bake for another 10-15 minutes. You’re looking for a golden brown color.
  6. Remove from oven, stir in your choice of dried fruit, and then let it cool for at least 10 minutes.
  7. ENJOY!

Makes approximately 4 – 4.5 cups

 

Maple Crunch Granola {Oil-Free} | Be Sol-Ful

 

 

 It’s slightly sweet and peanut-buttery with pops of cacao crunch.

 

Maple Crunch Granola {Oil-Free} | Be Sol-Ful

Maple Crunch Granola {Oil-Free} | Be Sol-Ful

It’s a great snack or you can enjoy it with some milk or yogurt for breakfast. We love to use it as a topping for our smoothie bowls, too!

Once the granola is completely cooled, store it in glass jars or containers for optimal flavor.

Thanks for stopping by!