Juice of One Lemon

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Posting this here because I often need to know it:

• 1 lemon yields 3 tablespoons juice (1.5 oz; 45 ml)
• 1 lime yields 2 tablespoons juice (1 oz; 30 ml)

Source: thekitchn

Simple Spiced Cocoa

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Cinnamon, ginger, and two kinds of cocoa powder

Cinnamon, ginger, and two kinds of cocoa powder

Cook’s notes: Adapted from a recipe on Elephant Journal. I like this spice combination better than a more complicated Chai Cocoa. It’s not too sweet, and the cinnamon and ginger blend is just lovely. Of course, just like in smoothies, the choice of milk is up to you: you can use soy milk, coconut beverage, or dairy milk.

  • Make it a tea mocha: Blend this drink with 6 oz. hot black tea (makes 12 oz. total)
  • Make it vegan: Use maple syrup instead of honey

Warm 6 oz. (3/4 cup) almond milk in a saucepan.

Stir in the spices:

  • 1 Tablespoon organic raw cocoa powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Dutch cocoa powder
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger powder

Heat through and drink warm.

Cashew Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Cook’s notes: The recipe is from the blog The View from Great Island. These are very rich and satisfying cookies. I used a 1 Tablespoon scoop to make 26 cookies. I very much liked that her recipe used 1/2 cup sugar, instead of 1 cup, like so many other nut butter cookie recipes.

A few days later, I made a small batch vegan version with flax meal. This vegan recipe makes 13 cookies when you use the Tablespoon scoop. Due to the flax, they come out crispier than the egg version. Also delicious!

1/2 Tablespoon [1.5 teaspoons] ground flax meal
1.5 Tablespoons water
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup cashew butter
1/2 cup dairy-free chocolate chips (Enjoy Life mini chips)

  1. Heat oven to 350F and line a cookie sheet with a Silpat liner
  2. Combine the ground flax meal with 1.5 Tablespoons water. Let chill in the fridge to thicken for a few minutes.
  3. Combine the flax mixture, sugar, baking soda, and cashew butter in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat together
  4. Lightly beat in chocolate chips.
  5. Use a Tablespoon cookie scoop to dish out 13 balls of dough onto the baking sheet. The dough is kind of crumbly, so just pack it into the scoop.
  6. Flatten the balls of dough just slightly with your fingers.
  7. Bake for about 12-13 minutes.

Best Recipe: Honey Mustard Vinaigrette

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Right: Before shaking (aren't the layers pretty?). Left: After shaking.

Right: Before shaking (aren’t the layers pretty?). Left: After shaking.

Cook’s notes: This is an incredible honey-mustard salad dressing. I may even like it better than balsamic vinaigrette, which is saying a lot. The book Eating on the Wild Side by Jo Robinson recommended matching a salad with a freshly made vinaigrette. I altered the proportions of her dressing recipe so that I could use our Good Seasons salad dressing cruet (which uses about 1/3 cup vinegar, 1/8 cup water, and 1/2 cup oil).

1 clove garlic, minced (to yield 5 g minced garlic)
5 Tablespoons organic apple cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon raw honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Use the garlic prep method (“press, then rest”) recommended by Jo Robinson: Mince the garlic and let it sit for 10 minutes.

Combine the minced garlic clove with the remaining ingredients in a cruet (or jar) with a tightly fitting lid. (If using the cruet, everything except the oil goes up to the “W” line; add oil to the “O” line.)

Going Wild Salad

To make a salad based on Jo Robinson’s recommendations, make a mixed green salad with your choice of the following items:

  • Dark red or green looseleaf lettuce
  • Baby spinach leaves
  • Bell peppers, seeded and diced
  • Red cabbage, shredded
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Toasted nuts or seeds, instead of croutons
  • Yellow or red onion, diced
  • Handful of sprouts
  • Optional: Roasted root vegetables — carrot slices, diced beets, or sweet potato cubes

Pumpkin Chai Latte

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Pumpkin and delicious spices to warm you

Pumpkin and delicious spices to warm you

Cook’s notes: Adapted from Texan Erin, who says, “This pumpkin chai latte is lightly sweetened with maple syrup and is full of warm, cozy fall spices.” It’s also very delicious. I’ve resized the recipe to make 1 serving. I can see already that it will be in heavy rotation this winter.

3 Tablespoons unsweetened pumpkin puree — not the canned pumpkin pie filling with sugar
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/8 teaspoon Apple Pie Spice
1 cup unsweetened vanilla milk
1 bag black tea (PG Tips)

In a small saucepan, bring the pumpkin, maple syrup, vanilla extract, spices, and milk to a boil over medium heat. Remove the saucepan from the heat, add the tea bag, and steep for 3 minutes. Serve hot.

Bittersweet Chai Cocoa

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Hot cocoa redolent with spices

Hot cocoa redolent with spices

Cook’s notes: This spicy hot chocolate has a more interesting flavor than if you just add cinnamon to cocoa. It is less sweet than commercial cocoa or standard recipes, which call for 2 parts sugar to 1 part cocoa. You can always add more sugar if you like it sweeter.

 Epicurious recommends a ratio for hot cocoa of 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa to 1 to 2 tablespoons sugar. The chocolate flavor of this drink is strong enough without the extra 1 tablespoon cocoa they recommend.

1/4 cup boiling water
1 black tea bag, such as PG Tips
1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon Chai Spice Mix

In a saucepan over medium, heat the water. Steep the tea bag in the water for 3 minutes. Remove the tea bag; do not squeeze.

Add the milk, cocoa, sugar, vanilla, and chai mix to the tea. Whisk to combine until sugar is dissolved. Heat through until warm and serve.

Best Recipe: Goldilocks Smoothie

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One serving

Cook’s notes: I’ve been making “5-a-day” smoothies with 5 different fruits and vegetables. However, I wanted to make a smoothie that wasn’t high in carbs and natural sugars. I also wanted to keep the volume down and have a recipe that would make two satisfying glasses, not 50 to 60 oz. It’s also very tasty.

You can use 1/2 cup fat-free cottage cheese and 1/2 cup fat-free yogurt.

Instead of pineapple, you can use 1 cup of any low-glycemic fruit without added sugar: apples, apricots, any berries, whole strawberries, cherries, oranges, peach slices, or pears.

This “Goldilocks smoothie” is just right: not too sweet, not too much fruit, not too much spinach, and not too much to drink.

Makes 2 servings (15 oz. each)

1 cup plain, fat-free Greek yogurt
1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1/2 cup water
2 Tablespoons pecan pieces
2 Tablespoons flax seeds
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
3 cups (45 g) baby spinach
1 cup frozen pineapple chunks without added sugar
1/2 cup frozen blueberries without added sugar

Add all ingredients in the order they are listed (from liquids to soft to hard to ice) to the Vitamix container. Secure the lid.
Turn the machine on to Variable speed 1 and slowly increase to speed 10.
Turn the machine to High.
Use the tamper to push ice into the ingredients as needed.
Blend for about 45 seconds or until desired consistency is reached. Serve immediately.


NOTE: This recipe has been written for the Vitamix 5200 with Standard 64-ounce container. If you are using a different machine, you may need to make adjustments to the speed or processing time. Know your blender and don’t overload the machine.

DISCLOSURE: This post is not sponsored by anyone. I paid for any products listed here and liked using them. This is my personal blog, and I am not compensated to create posts. I mention companies and products in order to share to share a good experience.

Black Velvet Banana Muffins

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Deep, dark muffins

Deep, dark muffins

Cook’s notes: These eggless muffins have a very intense chocolate flavor and are just sweet enough. I used a blender to pure the banana and wet ingredients together to get them really smooth, instead of mashing them by hand. The ingredients come together quickly in a stand mixer.

Yield: 12+ muffins (I got 15)

Whisk together:
1-1/4 cup white whole wheat flour
1/3 cup black cocoa powder from King Arthur Flour
1.5 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Blend together: Bananas to vanilla
2 over-ripe bananas, cut into chunks
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Fold in:
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Heat oven to 350F. Line muffin pan with liners or grease muffin pan.

Use the whisk attachment on a stand mixer. Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until well combined. Set aside.

In a blender, whirl together the banana, sugar, olive oil, milk, and vanilla extract. Slowly pour the banana mixture over the flour mixture. Whisk together with just a few strokes, until there are no lumps. Fold in pecans.

Fill muffin tins 3/4 full. Bake muffins for 15-17 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Store in an airtight container until ready to serve.

Source: Adapted from The Novice Chef. Modifications: I cut the amount of sugar in half and swapped out a lot of other ingredients (white whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour, black cocoa powder instead of regular cocoa powder, olive oil instead of vegetable oil, unsweetened vanilla almond milk instead of regular milk, and pecans instead of walnuts).

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