Vegan Dark Chocolate “Almond Joys”

 

 

VEGAN DARK CHOCOLATE ALMOND JOYS

I absolutely love this time of year.  It really inspires me to think of creative ways to make treats that are absolutely delicious but good for you too!  I grew up loving this traditional candy bar as a child but as Rose-Marie Swift recently said, “We live in a world where chemicals are gods and naturals are ridiculed.” It got me thinking about how I could make a delicious version of the traditional “Almond Joy” favorite without all the extra ingredients that we don’t need.  I love how this recipe turned out because they are not too sweet and are the perfect combination of crunchy almonds, coconut flakes, sea salt and chocolate.

There are a little tricky to make because of the cocoa butter but if you have the patience,  they are well worth it and I think your up for the challenge.  I’ve been really enjoying one of these babies with a hot cup of tea in the afternoon and it really hits the spot!  I can’t wait for you to try them too.

EQUIPMENT

Parchment paper

A double boiler or two pots of equal size

8 by 8 by 2” baking pan

Measuring cups

Measuring spoons

Rubber Spatula

Sharp knife

INGREDIENTS 

2 cups organic cocoa butter

Pinch of sea salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups unsweetened shredded organic coconut flakes

3 tbs organic real maple syrup

5 to 6 of your favorite dark chocolate bars for melting

16 organic almonds

METHOD

Take a double boiler or two pots of the same size.  Place water in the pot that will be on the bottom, then place the other pot on top.  Add the cocoa butter and place heat on medium.  The cocoa butter will begin to melt slowly.  As it is melting, add a pinch of sea salt and the vanilla extract.  Once the cocoa butter is completely melted, add the coconut flakes, maple syrup and stir with a spoon till all the ingredients are fully combined.  Take a 8 by 8 by 2″ pan and line it with parchment paper.  Take the coconut, cocoa butter mixture and press it into the bottom of the pan evenly so that fills the whole pan.  Place it in the freezer for 30 minutes till the mixture becomes nice and firm.

While the mixture is getting firm, clean your double boiler or two pots and now once again place water in the pot on the bottom.  Place the other pot on top and add the chocolate, then place the heat on medium.  Let the chocolate completely melt. Then set aside.

Once the coconut, cocoa butter mixture is hard, remove it from the refrigerator.  Lift it carefully out of the pan keeping the parchment paper on the back.  Use a sharp knife and cut them into rectangular bars.  This recipe made 8 bars.  Place 2 almonds on top of each bar.

 

Now lets get to the tricky part because you need to work quickly because the melted chocolate will start to melt the cocoa butter in the bars!  Place a clean piece of parchment paper down next to your melted chocolate, then also have a spoon ready for your melted chocolate.  Use a spatula and place one of the rectangular bars at a time onto the spatula then very gently place it into the melted chocolate using a spoon to pour the chocolate over the top of the bar so that it is fully covered with chocolate. Then let is rest on the parchment paper and repeat till you’ve done this with all the bars.    I like to sprinkle additional sea salt on each bar but this is a preference.  Now quickly slide the parchment paper onto a firm flat surface like a cookie sheet and then place into your refrigerator and let chill for 30 minutes till hard.

Once hard, remove from refrigerator and use a sharp knife to cut around each one so that they are in nicely shaped rectangular bars.  Now use a firm spatula and remove each bar from parchment paper and store in an airtight glass container with a top in your refrigerator or at room temperature.  These will last in the refrigerator for at least 9-10 days and at room temperature for 5-7 days.

For more easy, delicious recipes like this, my new cookbook Empowerful can be ordered at the below link.  It makes a great holiday gift too!!!

https://www.amazon.com/EmPowerful-Finding-Empowerment-Everyday-Connection/dp/1978475969/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1535032588&sr=1-1&keywords=Empowerful+book

If you enjoy my recipes, I would love to see your pictures and creations! Please tag me and your favorite recipes on social media on Facebook at Chef Emery or on Instagram @chef_emery

Happy Holidays from my kitchen to yours!

Oxoxoxo Chef Emery

Please note: The photos of this recipe and content above are copyright protected.

Please do not use my photos without prior written permission. Please do not copy this recipe and share it on your own site. If you wish to tell people about this recipe, please provide a link back to the recipe here on my blog rather than copying the recipe. If you make significant changes to a recipe, you are welcome to rewrite it in your own unique words and provide a link back here for credit. Thank you!❤️

 

 

Organic Gluten Free Oatmeal Apple Banana Bread with Pecans, Sunflower Seeds and Flax

I tested this recipe the other day and it is super delicious!  The nutty crunch of the sunflower seeds, flax and pecans paired with the sweetness of the apples and bananas is really lovely.  This is especially delicious with some almond butter and a cup of tea!

While I was making this bread, it made me think of this quote that I love by Alice Waters, “It’s around the table and in the preparation of food that we learn about ourselves and the world”.  It truly captures everything I believe about cooking and what it can be.  My  daughter and I made this bread together and found great pleasure in the measuring, blending, smelling and tasting.  There are distinctive bonds formed when we gather to create delicious meals and enjoy them together.  It is in this gathering that I believe we find a piece of ourselves, our bond with others and nature.  I encourage you to do the same.

Please enjoy this recipe and if you love it share it and tag me on instagram@emery5

Ingredients:

7 packages of gluten free organic qia oatmeal
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of sea salt
1 tsp real organic vanilla extract
1 tbs organic cinnamon
1 tsp fresh nutmeg
2 organic bananas mashed
1/2 cup real organic maple syrup
1/2 cup organic apple sauce
3 tbs organic grass fed ghee
3 local organic eggs
1/2 cup sunflower seeds raw unsalted
1/2 cup raw pecans
2 tbs organic flax seeds

Preheat oven to 375
Take a small bowl, add mashed banana, apple sauce, maple syrup, vanilla extract and eggs.  Whisk with a fork till fully combined then set aside briefly.  Take a high speed blender and add all 7 packages of oatmeal into the blender.  Place your blender on the high setting and blend until it forms into flour.  Add the oatmeal flour to a large bowl, then add baking soda, sea salt, cinnamon and freshly grated nutmeg and use a fork to fully combine the ingredients.  Now add the oatmeal flour mixture to the wet banana mixture.  Gently combine (do not over mix or bread will become tough) then add sunflower seeds and pecans ( save a few pecans and sunflower seeds for the top of the bread).  Gently mix the seeds and pecans through the batter then use a spatula and pour batter into a greased bread pan.  Then, sprinkle flax seeds and additional sunflower seeds and pecans on top. Bake at 375 for approx. 50 to 55 minutes till golden brown. Enjoy!

-Chef Emery Oxox ❤️❤️❤️

Please note: The photos of this recipe and content above are copyright protected.

Please do not use my photos without prior written permission. Please do not copy this recipe and share it on your own site. If you wish to tell people about this recipe, please provide a link back to the recipe here on my blog rather than copying the recipe. If you make significant changes to a recipe, you are welcome to rewrite it in your own unique words and provide a link back here for credit. Thank you!❤️

 

Gluten Free Organic Oatmeal Banana, Rum and Seasonal Pumpkin Bread with Dark Chocolate Chips

Fall is absolutely one of my favorite seasons and this banana bread will honestly have your whole house smelling incredible!  This recipe is super easy to make and kids will love it to.  I’ve been enjoying a slice in the afternoon with a hot cup of tea working on slowing my pace down and finding the beauty in the slow down.  This time of year nature is beginning to transition towards winter and we are a part of nature.  You may notice feeling more inward or wanting to curl up on the coach with a good book.  I encourage you to do so and this recipe is a perfect opportunity to allow yourself that time.  There is something about cooking and connecting with real food that just relaxes the mind.  The smell and aromas that fill your home are a sensory gift for the soul that truly connect us with ourselves, nature and others.  My hope is that you make this recipe and enjoy the fall slow down and all the beauty that nature provides.  Enjoy it by yourself, with family or a good friend.  Much love.

3 tbs organic grass fed ghee

1 tsp real organic vanilla extract

3 local organic eggs

3 organic bananas peeled and mashed

1 additional organic banana peeled and sliced in half for top of bread

1/2 can of 15oz organic pumpkin

1/2 cup organic real maple syrup

2 tbs rum ( optional but note that rum will cook off so it is perfectly suitable for kids.  It adds a subtle fantastic flavor to the bread )

7  individual 8oz packages of gluten free Qia oatmeal ( your choice what flavor )

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp organic cinnamon

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 cup 70% dark chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 375.  Then grease one bread pan with 1 tsp of oil.  Take 5 of the individual 80z packages of oatmeal and add to a high speed blender.  Blend on high till it forms into flour.  Then add flour to a small bowl with sea salt, cinnamon, baking powder and the last 2 individual 80z packages of oatmeal ( do not process these into flour and leave the oatmeal in it’s whole form ).  Set aside briefly.

In a large bowl, add ghee, vanilla extract, eggs, mashed bananas, maple syrup, puréed pumpkin, rum.  Mix with a fork until well combined then add the flour mixture.  Fold the batter till just fully combined then add the dark chocolate chips.  Once all the ingredients are combined use a spatula and add the batter into your bread pan.  Then take the sliced banana and lay on top of the batter then press the banana gently down into the batter.  Bake at 375 for approx. 1 hour till golden brown.  Cool and Enjoy!

-Chef Emery oxoxo

Gluten Free Organic Banana Rum Walnut Bread

I absolutely love this time of year.  Cozy fall sweaters, crisp mornings, apples, pumpkins, warm tea, a good book and cozy recipes like this.  Our bodies were meant to align with the seasons and it is important to listen.  You may notice you crave cold raw foods less such as salads, smoothies, etc. and are beginning to gravitate towards warmer dishes.  I always notice I want to drink a lot of tea this time of year.  This is our bodies highly intelligent way of aligning us with nature and preparing us for winter.

This quote from Alice Waters “Coming To My Senses” is so beautiful, important and captures everything I truly believe about food and our higher connection to it.  “I really believe that nature is everybody’s mother- and I think our disconnection from it is the reason for so many of the problems we have now.”  I think much of our culture is disconnected from nature in a way that is limiting us.  Food and cooking is such an easy way to do this.

This recipe is a favorite in our home and the combination of the ghee, ripe bananas and rum make it really lovely not to mention it is super easy to prepare.  You will not even taste the rum and any alcohol will cook off so do not worry about it not being appropriate to give to kids.

Preheat oven to 375

3 tbs organic grassfed ghee
3 organic local eggs
1 tsp real organic vanilla extract
3 organic ripe bananas peeled and smashed
3 tbs plain coconut yogurt
1/3 cup organic real maple syrup
2 tbs high quality rum ( optional )
Pinch of sea salt
1/3 organic raw walnuts ( optional )
1 tsp cinnamon
2 1/2 cups gluten free Pamela’s baking flour

Take a large bowl and combine ghee, eggs, vanilla extract, bananas, sea salt, coconut yogurt, maple syrup and rum using a fork to whisk till combined. Then add cinnamon and fold the flour into the batter using your fork. Add walnuts and combine, then using a spatula pour the batter into a greased bread pan then bake at 375 for approx. 50 to 1 hour. Cool and slice. Enjoy! Oxox – Chef Emery ❤️❤️

Gluten Free Sweet Potato and Dark Chocolate Skillet Cake



Lets Eat Cake!!

I received a lot of requests to get this recipe up on my blog and personally I have been wanting to share this recipe because it is a perfect example of how we can marry our emotional needs to wanting things like “chocolate cake” while packing in some nutritional value along with it.

This recipe is super easy to do and it really satiates that need and desire for a super moist and chocolatey cake.  I actually omitted the maple syrup because I generally do not like things very sweet but most people will want to add at least 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of maple syrup.

For athletes especially or people that are carb cycling, sweet potato is a fantastic way to refuel energy, blood sugar regulation as well as muscle recovery for the body.  Sweet potatoes are antioxidant rich and anti-inflammatory, great for skin and full of important vitamins such as Vitamin A, B6, C and are full of potassium and magnesium.  They also add a nice sweetness and moisture to baked goods without even knowing there is any sweet potato in it.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees

1 1/2 Cup Nut Milk ( I used unsweetened hemp milk, almond milk, regular milk or buttermilk could be used as well )
1 tsp Sea Salt
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 Small Organic Sweet Potato Cooked, Cooled and Peeled ** Chef’s Note bake sweet potato at 350 for 1 hour then peel and using a spoon scoop the flesh of the sweet potato out.
3 Organic Local Eggs
3 tbs Organic Olive Oil
1 tbs Organic Real Vanilla Extract
1/2 cup Organic Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 Cup Gluten Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour by Bob’s Mill
1/4 to 1/2 cup Organic Real Maple Syrup (optional but encouraged as the cake will not be very sweet without it )
3 tbs Chopped Organic Dark Chocolate

Chef’s Note ** You will need a iron skillet for this recipe but a regular baking pan can be used.  Use 1 tbs of Organic Unrefined Coconut Oil to grease the pan or skillet.

In a medium bowl, add unsweetened cocoa powder, sea salt, gluten free flour, baking soda.  Set aside.

In another medium bowl, crack eggs into bowl then add olive oil, cooked sweet potato, maple syrup, vanilla extract and nut milk.  Whisk fully with a fork. Now add the above dry ingredients until all the ingredients are fully combined.  Add chopped chocolate and combine.

Pour into greased pan and bake at 400 degrees for approx. 25-30 minutes till firm in the center.  Let cool.

For Ganache:

1 tbs Organic Unrefined Coconut Oil

1/2 of a 10 oz Bag of Organic 70% Dark Chocolate Chips

Use a double boiler or two pots of similar size placed on top of each other.  Add water to the bottom pot or to the double boiler.  Place other pot on top and add dark chocolate and coconut oil.  Place heat on medium to high heat till chocolate begins to melt then reduce heat slightly.  Use a spoon or spatula to combine the chocolate with the coconut oil till the chocolate is fully melted.  Once melted, use a spatula to cover the top of the cake.  This can be served with fresh berries and some coconut cream or ice cream!  I personally love mine on it’s own with a cup of tea.

Enjoy!  Let’s eat cake!  oxoxox -Chef Emery

Gluten Free Organic Granola with Lemon Zest, Pistachios, Cashews and Black Pepper

Granola is super easy to make yourself and to be honest, once you do you may never buy it in a store again.  I think my favorite part is that when you make it yourself, you can adjust the nuts and spices to what your in the mood for and what is in season.  Think sliced almonds with dried cherries in spring, sunflower seeds and bee pollen with macadamian nuts in summer, pumpkin seeds and cinnamon with dried persimmon in the fall, dried coconut with walnuts and orange zest in winter just to name a few ideas.   It can be sprinkled on your favorite smoothies, used to make yogurt parfaits with fresh berries.  It is a great topper for ice cream and makes a fabulous garnish for french toast, waffles and pancakes!!  I love it on it’s own too as a snack with a few wedges of dark chocolate!  Yum!

The options are honestly endless and this will become a regular in your meal prep arsenal!  I know personally I make this every two months or so to have as a quick healthy snack on the go. This recipe in particular is so lovely.  The subtle combination of sea salt, lemon zest, black pepper with the cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg is really unique.  The pistachios add a gourmet flair that makes this just a little bit fancy which I love.

RECIPE:

Preheat your oven to 350.

8 Cups Gluten Free Organic Oats ( I personally really love Qia Gluten Free Oatmeal )

2 tsp Organic Cinnamon

1 tsp Organic Cardamom

1 tsp of Organic Fresh Nutmeg

The Zest of 1 Organic Lemon ( make sure to wash the lemon before zesting )

1 tsp Organic Black Pepper

1 tsp Himalayan Sea Salt

2 tbs Organic Chia Seeds

1 Cup Organic Raw Cashews

1 Cup Organic Raw Pistachios

1 Cup Organic Pumpkin Seeds

1/2 Cup Real Organic Maple Syrup

1/2 Cup Organic Unrefined Coconut Oil

1 tsp Real Organic Vanilla Extract

 

In a large bowl, add gluten free oats, cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper ( freshly ground if possible ), sea salt, chia seeds, cashews, pistachios and pumpkin seeds.  Using a microplane, zest the lemon over the bowl along with the fresh nutmeg ( I highly recommend using fresh nutmeg as you will notice a significant difference in flavor ).  Use a fork to fully combine all of the ingredients.

Take a small sauce pan, add coconut oil and place heat on medium.  Melt coconut oil.  Once melted, pour the coconut oil over the oats.  Then pour maple syrup and vanilla extract over the oats. Using a fork or clean hands, fully combine all of the ingredients.  Once combined, take one large sheet pan or two medium sheet pans and pour the granola mixture evenly onto the pans.  Place in the oven at 350 for 10 minutes then reduce heat to 200 and continue to bake for one hour.  During the baking time, make sure to use a metal spatula and turn the granola over so that it cooks evenly and does not burn.  Remove from oven and let cool.  Once cool, this is when you would add dried fruit if you were using it.  Then pour into an airtight container and store in a cool dry place.  Granola will last for approx. 2 weeks.

Enjoy! Chef Emery ❤️❤️ Oxox

 

Glutenfree Skillet Organic Chocolate Chip Cookie

We were having some cravings for chocolate chip cookies and something about doing it in a skillet is not only super fun but it makes it really quick to bring together! I did a healthier twist on this by adding flax and chia seeds as well as just a touch of coconut sugar.

This is not a super sweet dessert as personally I am not a fan of really sweet desserts. If you love dark chocolate with sea salt for example, this is the dessert for you.  A touch of high quality organic vanilla ice cream and chocolate drizzle just finishes this off!

 

Preheat oven to 350

Chefs Note * you will need a medium cast iron pan

For Recipe:

2 cups Pamela’s Gluten Free Baking Mix

(I highly recommend this brand as it comes the closest to mimicking real flour. Please note the baking powder is included in this mix so if your not using this flour, you will need to add 1 tsp of baking powder )

1 tsp sea salt
2 organic local eggs
1 tsp real organic vanilla extract
1/2 cup dark chocolate 70% bittersweet chips, plus 1 tbs to sprinkle on top
1 stick organic cultured grass fed butter at room temperature, plus 1 tbs for greasing your cast iron pan
1/2 cup organic coconut unrefined sugar
2 tbs organic chia seeds
2 tbs organic flax seed

In a small bowl, add room temperature butter and coconut sugar.  Use an electric beater and place on medium or a fork and fully combine butter and sugar.  Then add vanilla extract and eggs then continue to beat till fully combined.  In a large bowl, add gluten free flour, sea salt, chia seeds, flax seeds.  Use a fork to combine.  Now add egg, butter, sugar mixture to flour mixture and use spatula to combine all the ingredients.  Add dark chocolate chips and fully combine with spatula.

Grease your cast iron pan with 1 tbs of butter.  Take your spatula and add cookie dough into the cast iron pan and distribute the dough evenly so that the dough fully covers the complete bottom of the pan ( dough should be approx. 1 inch in thickness.)  Then sprinkle with 1 tbs of dark chocolate chips evenly over the top.  Bake in oven at 350 for 20-25 minutes till golden brown.  Remove from oven let cool.  Scoop vanilla ice cream and drizzle with homemade chocolate sauce.

Enjoy!  Chef Emery ❤️ oxoxoox

Please note: The photos of this recipe and content above are copyright protected.

Please do not use my photos without prior written permission. Please do not copy this recipe and share it on your own site. If you wish to tell people about this recipe, please provide a link back to the recipe here on my blog rather than copying the recipe. If you make significant changes to a recipe, you are welcome to rewrite it in your own unique words and provide a link back here for credit. Thank you!❤️

 

Gluten Free “Morning Glory” Muffins

My son and I baked these together on a day we were especially feeling sad about losing our favorite pet.  Cooking can be a truly therapeutic and calming experience for the soul particularly for kids. My son afterwards sighed and said “I feel so much better.”  As the aromas of cinnamon and nutmeg wafted through our house, we all just felt a little better.

Food can be such a powerful, sensory experience that connects us instantly with ourselves and nature.  When we touch, feel and smell real food, it is an opportunity to truly embrace the now and provides the mind with presence.  I know my son and I both felt that.

On a practical note, these muffins are super satisfying and packed with good quality protein and healthy fats.  Only sweetened with a small amount of maple syrup and dried fruit, they are perfect for those seeking low sugar and naturally sweetened recipes and are fantastic for breakfast or a quick afternoon snack on the go.  The subtle sweeteness of coconut flakes and raisins coupled with the crunch of sunflower seeds and hints of cinnamon, truly make these special.

Preheat oven to 375

You will need a one dozen muffin tin plus cupcake liners.  Line the entire one dozen muffin tin with the cupcake liners then briefly set aside.

3 local organic eggs

3 tbs organic extra virgin olive oil

1 cup buttermilk or non dairy milk such as unsweetened hemp

1 tsp organic real vanilla extract

1/3 cup real organic maple syrup

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

2 cups gluten free flour (I highly recommend Pamela’s gluten free baking mix as it is the closest to mimicking real flour and has the baking powder in it)

2 cups organic shredded carrots

1/2 cup organic raisins

1/2 cup organic unsweetened shredded coconut

1/2 cup organic raw sunflower seeds

Wash, peel and shred carrots ( approx 2-3 carrots) till you have 2 cups of shredded carrots. Set aside briefly.

In a large bowl, crack eggs and add to bowl.  Then add vanilla extract, olive oil, maple syrup and buttermilk or non dairy milk. Whisk well with a fork then add sea salt, cinnamon, fresh nutmeg and gluten free flour. Use a fork to whisk well till all the ingredients are fully combined scraping up the sides of the bowl.

Now add shredded carrots, raisins, coconut and sunflower seeds.  Fully combine all the ingredients then using a large spoon fill your muffin tin. This will make exactly one dozen.

Bake at 375 approx. 30-35 minutes till golden brown. Cool and enjoy! These can be stored in an airtight container and are good for 3-5 days.

These muffins are a little gift from me to you ❤️ .  A baking gift that took a super sad day and brought some ease to our tender hearts.

Much love – Chef Emery oxoxox

Please note: The photos of this recipe and content above are copyright protected.

Please do not use my photos without prior written permission. Please do not copy this recipe and share it on your own site. If you wish to tell people about this recipe, please provide a link back to the recipe here on my blog rather than copying the recipe. If you make significant changes to a recipe, you are welcome to rewrite it in your own unique words and provide a link back here for credit. Thank you!❤️

 

Gluten Free Oatmeal Raisin Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

Really have a cookie!  As a chef, it’s really important to me for things to taste good first.  Let’s just say while I am all for quality well sourced ingredients, I believe food should taste delicious not “healthy” especially if it’s going to be a sustainable life style.  These cookies are super yummy, quick and are so easy to make!  Most importantly they have dark chocolate who doesn’t love that?!  These are great as a snack, dessert, for kids lunch boxes and once you know the ingredients you’ll understand why you can actually get away with even having one for breakfast!

10 packages of my favorite organic oatmeal Qia or 4 cups of glutenfree oats

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

2 organic eggs

2 organic peeled bananas

3 tbs organic coconut oil

2 tsp organic real vanilla extract

1/2 cup organic raisins

1/2 cup organic 70% dark bittersweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350.  Separate oats into two equal portions.  Take 2 cups of the oats and blend on high in a high speed blender till it forms into flour.  Once blended, pour into a large bowl, then add other 2 cups of oats.  Add baking soda, sea salt, freshly grated nutmeg, and cinnamon.  Set aside.

In a small saucepan melt coconut oil, set aside.  In your blender add eggs, vanilla extract, peeled bananas, and coconut oil. Blend on high till smooth then add to dry ingredients.  Once fully combined add raisins and dark chocolate chips.  On two greased cookie sheets use a large spoon to form into cookies on your sheets.  Bake at 350 for approx. 20-25 minutes till golden brown.  Cool and store in airtight container. These will last for 5-7 days ( if they last that long! )

Yields approx. 1 1/2 dozen