FOOD

Strawberry Granola Drizzled with Chocolatey Sauce

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Back story: Every year on the four days leading up to Ash Wednesday, Panama’s carnival takes place, which Panamanians call “Los Carnavales”. Although it is not an official holiday, the  country basically shuts down + Panamanians put their inhibitions aside + let the party spirit rum take over.

Most people go to the “Culecos”, which are large fire trucks that blast music + get surrounded by drunk people dancing in the street while being sprayed with water. Hello, Do I look like the type of person who voluntary likes to get drenched. Umm. No, thank you.

But as much as I’ve refused to partake in all this monkey business in the past, no one cares. Last years, I went out for a jog. You know this won’t end well, don’t you? Yeah, I was victim to water guns + water balloons + water buckets, despite my cry for help, “Please. Have mercy on my soul. I will get electrocuted. I’m carrying my iPhone with me”. Didn’t work.

Apparently being the Grinch of any holiday, back fires, so this year I’m embracing this stupid celebration head on. In preparation, I’m stocking up on munchies, the healthy kind, to counterbalance all those mojitos ya’ know?

Today, I’m pausing the cook-a-thon to show you how to make one of my new favorite creations. This Strawberry Granola drizzled with Chocolatey Sauce is 100% clean + naturally sweet + gluten free + vegan + oh so perfect for snacking. You can even use it as a lethal weapon if someone dares to test drive their Super Soaker on you. The chocolate sauce in the tropical sun will have them screaming, “Mommy!”. You sold on the granola now, aren’t you?

Here’s what you’ll need:

Granola

Ingredients:

  • 3 cup gluten-free oats
  • 1/2 cup hemp seeds
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup dried strawberries (make sure their unsweetened)*

Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons cacao powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons young coconut water
  • 2 Medjool dates, pitted (or 1 tablespoon maple syrup)
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, scrapped

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Preparation:

*If you can’t find desiccated strawberries you can make them yourself. It takes a bit of time, but it’s super easy. Wash + pat dry strawberries + slice lengthwise. You should get about 5-6 slices from each strawberry. Turn the oven to the lowest heat setting. Spread strawberry slices on a rack or a tray that has holes to let the hot air circulate under the strawberries. Oven dry for 2-3 hours. At around 2 hour mark, carefully turn the strawberry slices over. Once the strawberries are ready, remove from the heat + let cool.

Step 1: Turn the heat up to 300˚ F.

Step 2: In a large bowl combine oats + seeds + almonds + coconut flakes + salt. In a separate bowl, combine maple syrup + coconut oil + vanilla + whisk to combine. Pour wet mixture over the dry mixture + stir so that everything is well coated.

Step 3: On a parchment covered tray, spread mixture so that it is a think layer. Bake for 45 minutes – 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes so that the edges do not burn. Once done, let cool for 15 minutes. Pour granola into a bowl + toss with dried strawberries.

Step 4: To make the Chocolatey Sauce, just combine all the ingredients in a food processor + pulse.

Step 5: Store the leftover Strawberry Granola + Chocolatey Sauce separately in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to devour.

Step 6: Serve the Strawberry Granola in a bowl or kraft paper brag + drizzle with the Chocolatey Sauce to send it over the top.

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Here in tropical paradise, the chocolate melts fast, so things might get a little messy. But heck, there’s nothing a good ol’ finger licking technique can’t fix.

And now it’s back to the kitchen for me. I have a cookbook to write!

Photograhy Credit

Marcela Macias

FOOD

No Heart Attack Chocolate Chip Cookies

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How cliche. Heart-shaped cookies for Valentines. So clever.

Oh c’mon! Look at the name of my blog. Where you seriously expecting skull-shaped pancakes? Bomb-like chocolates with raspberry filling that explodes in your mouth?

If you feel like puking already over the avalanche of red bows + pink cakes + heart-shape everything everywhere, well, I come with a great idea: Simply make my cookies + break em’ in half with an evil look + we’ll call it a vengeance, alright? It’s rebellious, yet not creepy enough to put you in jail for a bloody Valentine’s crime.

I told you I’m getting smarter. I eat cookies that don’t make me feel like crap. Oh yeah, cuz you will still look sexy in lingerie when you eat these. They are gluten free + dairy free + vegan + refined sugar free + ridiculously delicious. Cuz healthy shouldn’t taste like cardboard. That’s an ultimatum.

Here’s how to make your batch of  No Heart Attack Chocolate Chip Cookies:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all purpose gluten free flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup cacao nibs or dark chocolate chips/mini chunks

Special Appliance:

  • Heart-shaped cookie cutter (optional)

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Preparation:

Step 1: Preheat oven 400°F.

Step 2: Prepare a baking sheet + line with foil.

Step 3: Mix flour + coconut + baking powder + baking soda + salt in a large bowl. It’s essential that these ingredients are evenly spread throughout your cookie dough, before it goes in the oven.

Step 3: Mix coconut oil + maple syrup + vanilla extract together in another mixing bowl. Give it a good stir.

Step 4: Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture + mix with a wooden spoon. Add the cacao nibs or dark chocolate chips. With your hands, compress the cookie dough into a ball, until the chocolate is well incorporated.

Step 5: Take 1 generous tablespoon of cookie dough into your hands + compress it + roll it into a ball. You can either flatter the balls slightly on the prepared baking sheet to make round cookies or you can press the ball of dough into the cookie cutter to mould it into heart shape. Don’t worry if the cookie dough is a bit oily before entering the over, that’s normal.

Step 6: Makes about 15 cookies.

Step 7: Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes, until they start to brown slightly. Remove the baking sheet from the heat + using a spatula, transfer the cookies to a wire rack + allow to cool for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Step 8: Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Serve with fresh almond milk.

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And cuz everything is sweeter with a whimsical little tag made with love, I’ve made them available for you too. Not hating The Cupid so much anymore, are you? LOL! I thought so too.

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Click to download stationary!

Time to put on my new ba ba boom Pull Up Cherry Dress. Got a date with a really hot man with beard that’s sitting in my couch playing FIFA. Not for long thou. BUAAHAHAHAHA!

Continuing with the rated X programing. What you doing (said like Joy from Friend’s would) for Valentine’s? Will you be lighting up candles or stabbing your Sad Sam stuffed puppy? Tell me in the comments.

Photography Credit

Marcela Macias

FOOD

Raw Apple Pie à la Mode

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I was that kid who turned her nose at every dessert with a fruit sticking out of it. C’mon. Who in their right mind would turn down a chocolate lava cake for a fruit disguised as dessert right? That was me.

Until a met Apple Pie à la Mode. Cue the celestial chorus of baby angels without diapers.

Lots of fat pounds + heartburn episodes later, I thought it was time to tackle the healthy version made with real food that doesn’t taste like wet flip flops. Here it is:

Crust Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup almonds, soaked for 2 hours + drained
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, soaked for 2 hours + drained
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 3 Medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil, warmed to liquid
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Filling Ingredients:

  • 4 Medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/4 cup filtered water
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 sweet red apples, sliced + peeled

Ice Cream Ingredients:

  • 3 ripe bananas, peeled + diced + frozen
  • 1 vanilla bean, scrapped

Preparation:

To create your crust, combine all the ingredients + blend in a food processor until smooth, but not mushy. Press crust evenly into a small pie tin, preferably with a push up bottom. Place crust into the refrigerator while you prepare filling. Clean the food processor well.

For the filling, process dates + water as you go + cinnamon until smooth + gooey. You may need to scrape down the sides. Place mixture into a bowl + roll in apples. Take the pie crust out of the refrigerator + fill with the apple pie mixture.

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Cover in saran wrap + store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Enjoy with a scoop of raw homemade ice cream. To make the ice cream, place banana chunks + vanilla in food processor + blend for about 5 minutes or until the texture is creamy.

Should be devoured immediately!

When you give this number a spin be sure to tag me @mayicarles to get all proud Mama Bear on ya’.

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Back story. While I was in the kitchen measuring out these ingredients + slicing apples + soaking nuts, I couldn’t help but smile at how powerful we are in the kitchen. Up until now, I’ve shared mostly stories on creativity + passion + profit + goals + intentional planning with you. Funny how non of it really matters if our mixing bowl is filled with crap.

We don’t need a miracle. Not even a Fairy Godmother to come save the day. Magic is born everyday out off heart-shaped wooden spoons conjuring recipes using nature’s most amazing superfoods. Anthropology apron optional. All the rest follows. Flows. Cosmic synchronicity.

As you might have noticed, I’m embarking on a culinary adventure to clean my plate + save the world a pinch at a time. Who’s with me? I predict these voyage will bring us even closer. Real food made with love will. And we will become limitless.

Photography Credit

Marcela Macias

FOOD

RAWspberry Cheesecake with Chocolate Ganache

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One of my T-Rex projects of 2014 is to publish Life is Messy Kitchen. A new book – part toolbox + part cookbook. My heart twinkles. My belly rumbles. The entire house smells like cinnamon, or is that cardamom?

Fun times.

In preparation of the role of Master Messy Chef, lots of healthy recipes (including mouth watering photos by the fabulous food photographer Marcela Macias) will parade the blog corridors.

Gooosh! I said “healthy”, not cardboard-like. I’m married to Hamburger Monster, for God’s sake. If he’s excited, rest assure you can be too.

Eating clean shouldn’t mean sipping cayenne-pepper-n’-maple-syrup tonic by the gallon all day. It shouldn’t mean an Almanac of restrictions + embarrassing stomach farts + locking the fridge with a sign that reads “You’re so fat!” pinned with a Domino’s Pizza delivery magnet.

That’s why this is not a new “diet” column. This is a space to inspire your senses to add more plant-based nutrient-rich superfoods that make you happy + worry less about the highly refined lab-chemicalized stuff. By increasing the dose of power foods, the rest will take care of itself. Trust me. Cupcake junkie in recovery howling here.

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The new + enhanced version of you begins in the kitchen + today we’re making: RAWspberry Cheesecake with Chocolate Ganache. It’s vegan + gluten-free + refined sugar free. Who’s excited?

Crust Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 12 Medjool dates, pitted
  • pinch sea salt

Filling Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup cashews, soaked for 2-4 hours + drained
  • 2 organic lemons, juiced + zest
  • 1 vanilla bean, scrapped
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil, warmed to liquid
  • 1/2 cup wild honey + maple syrup or raw agave nectar
  • 1 cup raspberries (thaw completely if using frozen)

Ganache Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup raw agave nectar
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, warmed to liquid
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder

Preparation:

Step 1; To make the crust, grind nuts + seeds in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Add pitted dates + salt + pulse until mixture comes together to a sticky ball. Flatten the crust evenly into an 8-inch non-stick pan, preferably with a push up bottom. Place crust into the freezer while you prepare filling.

Step 2: Clean the food processor well.

Step 3: For the filling, process cashews + lemons juice + lemon zest + vanilla + coconut oil until very smooth.

Step 4: Pour the filling over the crust + place in the freezer for at least 1 hour.

Step 5: To prepare the ganache, whisk all ingredients together until smooth + glossy. Dip spoon in ganache + drizzle over the cheesecake top.

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Enjoy!

Photography Credit

Marcela Macia

FOOD

Heartmade Granola

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I woke up hula hooping my way out of bed. Know why? Because today’s my Anniversary with Mr. Heartmade. But that ain’t all. Today it’s also the day Miss Mayi turnes Mrs.

Say what? Yes. Today, I’m marrying to the love of my life, David Larrinaga. (Envision me doing happy cart wheels + wearing all my party props at once).

Now before you get the idea I lied about my wedding date being on November 26, let me clarify.

The religious ceremony + white gown affair + Thriller dancing + 22 bridesmaids + big wedding cake eating event is still schedule according to plan. Today is, what we call here in Panama, our “Matrimonio Civil” – the legal wedding. Ya’ know? The court + the papers + the signing + the birth of Mayi Carles de Larrinaga? And my heart can’t stop smiling.

Before I head out to get pretty for this afternoon’s big moment + paint my nails bubblegum pink or something cute like that, I wanted to show you a little last minute treat I whipped out for our friends + family as favors.

It’s my fave homemade granola recipe. Hooray!

And you can do it too.

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Ingredients:

  • 3 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cups pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup cranberries
  • 3/4 cup golden raisins

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Chop all the nuts in the food processor.

Toss oats + chopped nuts + cinnamon + salt + coconut in a large bowl.

Pour the honey + oil over the mixer + stir with a wooden spoon, until everything gets coated.

Pour granola mixture into a large sheet pan.

Bake (stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon) for about 45 minutes.

Remove the granola from the oven + let cool.

Add the dried fruit.

Enjoy! Serve with Greek yogurt + fresh fruit.

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This is the day I might just die of happiness while indulging in some Heartmade Granola.

 

 

 

Photography Credit

Ruben Parra // Marcela Macia

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