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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

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I am a reformed pastry fiend. I distinctly remember having my first croissant as a child during a family vacation on Martha’s Vineyard. It was unforgettable and I was forever hooked. The problem is, I am no longer a string bean of a girl, growing taller by the day. And simple carbs leave me feeling hungry 40 minutes later.

These days, I love baking with almond flour or coconut flour. They’ve got more protein, fewer carbs, and they feel dense (in a good way). This recipe is based on the Almond Muffin Mania recipe from nutritionist and chef Rebecca Katz. Sofia and I have made them several times and Jason loves them so much, they’re gone within 24 hours! They’re also refined sugar-free.

Sidenote: I did a podcast with Katz about cancer-fighting foods that you can listen to here. This recipe is from her cookbook, The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
Makes 24 mini muffins
A quick note: I’ve tried these with pumpkin puree and also with canned pumpkin. I try to steer clear of cans because there are often traces of BPA found in cans, but I was able to find one that said it was a BPA free liner. (Let’s hope it was the truth!) The canned pumpkin has a better consistency for this recipe. If you use pumpkin puree, I suggest straining some of the liquid out and omitting the milk.

INGREDIENTS
1 1/2 cups almond meal
1/2 cup spelt flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/3 cup coconut palm sugar
1/2 cup canned organic pumpkin or organic pumpkin puree
1/4 cup organic milk, almond milk, rice milk, or soy milk
2 organic eggs
1/4 cup unrefined virgin coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon dried ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 cup chocolate chips (I use TCHO disks 66% baking drops roughly chopped)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a mini muffin tin by generously oiling each cup.

Combine the almond meal, spelt four, baking powder, coconut palm sugar, and salt in a bowl and stir with a whisk until very well combined. Separately, combine the pumpkin, milk, eggs, oil, vanilla, and spices and whisk until smooth. Add the wet mixture to the dry and mix well with a rubber spatula. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Spoon the batter into the muffin cups filling each about three quarters full. Bake for 13-15 minutes, until muffin springs back when touched in the center. Let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then gently run a knife round the sides of the muffins to loosen them before turning them out.

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Chrissy’s Minty Lemonade

Chrissy Carter's Minty Lemonade

A note from Andrea: Yoga teacher Chrissy Carter is my guest on episode 12 of Yogaland, which launches next Tuesday. In addition to being an amazing yoga teacher — she has taught 25 yoga teacher trainings for YogaWorks over the past decade — Chrissy is an avid cook. She was kind enough to share her sweet, simple lemonade recipe to keep you cool and refreshed this summer.

Chrissy’s Minty Lemonade
Makes 6-8 servings
This drink is my happy place. There’s nothing better on a hot summer day than an ice cold glass of lemonade. The refreshing and totally satisfying combination of tangy and sweet hits the spot every time. The mint elevates the flavor of this old fashioned summer drink into a very special summer treat.

INGREDIENTS
1 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemons (approximately the juice of 6 lemons)
1 cup sugar
6 cups water
2 cups mint leaves, tightly packed

Combine everything into a pitcher and stir together. Stir again before serving. Enjoy!

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Avocado Chocolate Mousse with Strawberries

Avocado Chocolate Mousse Recipe

We had amazing food at this year’s retreat to the Lumeria Maui. And when you’re on a yoga retreat, doing many hours of yoga each day you really need a great dessert. This Avocado Chocolate Mousse was, hands-down, the group’s favorite, because hello, chocolate?

The base is nutrient-dense avocado, making it great for the non-dairy people in the crowd. But I’ll just say, for the record, that I love my dairy and I LOVE this dessert. (Since I’m on the low-sugar train I even tried it with less sweetener and raw cacao and that worked, too). I plan to make it on Thanksgiving and fool all my guests who happen to be afraid of avocado as a dessert choice.

Thank you to Lumeria and Chef Ben Diamond for sharing it with us!

Avocado Chocolate Mousse with Strawberries

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 cup avocado meat (about three avocados)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup agave
2 tablespoons grade B maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pinch kosher salt
1 cup strawberries

HOW TO

1. Place all ingredients except strawberries into a food processor and blend till smooth.
2. Serve with fresh sliced strawberries and mint sprig for garnish
3. Try not to eat all of it at once like Jason does.

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Turmeric Toddy Recipe

Turmeric Toddy Recipe
A note from Jason: I went to Portland this year to teach at Yoga Pearl and, fortunately for me there is a delicious restaurant right inside the studio, called Prasad. Equally as lucky, the food there is amazing. I was nursing a little traveler’s cold when I got there and became addicted to the Turmeric Toddy. We’re so happy that Karen Pride and Brittney Galloway, the creators of Portland’s popular health food establishments Prasad and Harlow are sharing the recipe with us!
Continue reading Read More > >

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Jason’s Favorite Granola

Cinnamon Pecan Granola

A few years ago I visited a yogini friend in Marin and she sent me home with a half a Ball jar of her homemade granola. Suffice it to say, I had guzzled it by the time I was across the Golden Gate Bridge.

I have always been a granola lover – the crunch and the sweetness mixed with the creaminess of yogurt wins me over every time. But most store-bought granola is a giant disappointment: It’s either loaded with sugar and questionable oils, or there’s only three nuts in a whole bag.

Making your own is so easy and it solves all of these problems! It’s also a great activity to do with kids. I’ve been making it with my now three-year-old since she could stand on a stool next to me and stir.

INGREDIENTS
4 cups rolled oats
2 cups pecans
1 cup raisins
1/3 cup melted coconut oil
3 tablespoons maple syrup
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Maldon sea salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Pour the oats, pecans, and raisins into a large bowl.
3. Melt the coconut oil until it’s a liquid.
4. Fold in the coconut oil, agave nectar, cinnamon, and sea salt.
5. Stir thoroughly so the whole mixture is evenly coated.
6. Spread evenly on two baking sheets and bake for 15-30 minutes until golden brown. (Granola burns evenly and the timing really depends on your oven. Check your granola after 15 minutes and if it still needs more time, turn the pans.)

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