Wheat-free, soy-free, dairy-free, corn-free, gmo-free, gluten-free, refined sugar free….. How free can we be! Here is the freest brownie recipe I could create. Leave the walnuts out and these would be nut-free as well! Enjoy the newest free recipe at The Kitchen Twist!

THE TWIST

It turns out that all the bad things commonly attributed to non-raw chocolate bars, such as cavities, weight gain and diabetes, are actually caused by the dairy, sugar and others fillers added to the dark chocolate. Health benefits of chocolate when it is in the form of raw cacao beans, butter, nibs and/or the powder include; weight loss (because of its high chromium and coumarin content), prevention of cavities (theobromine actually kills streptococci mutans one of the strains of bacteria that cause tooth decay) and regulation of blood sugar which is beneficial for diabetes (chromium can naturally regulate blood sugar). Also raw cacao benefits the heart and the entire cardiovascular system as a whole.

Cacao is one of the highest whole food source of magnesium, which also happens to be the most deficient mineral in the diet of modern cultures. Magnesium relaxes muscles, improves peristalsis in the bowels and relaxes the heart and cardiovascular system. The dark chocolate antioxidants have been clinically proven to literally dissolve plaque built up in the arteries which helps in reversing heart disease and causes naturally lower blood pressure.

Adukis are one of the highest protein and lowest fat varieties of bean. Full of fiber they are perfect for making smooth brownies.  Hemp seeds contain all the essential amino acids making them a complete protein and an amazing addition for people on a vegan diet.

http://www.secrets-of-longevity-in-humans.com/raw-cacao-benefits.html

Flourless Fudgey Brownies with Frosting

1 can (15 oz.) aduki beans, undrained  (Eden brand)
1 small apple, cored
1 small avocado, pitted and flesh scooped out of the peel
1 cup raw cacao powder
1 cup hemp hearts (shelled hemp seeds)
1 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup chia seeds
2 t vanilla extract
1 T baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t Himalayan sea salt
1 cup walnut halves (optional but very yummy)

Preheat oven to 350° F.  Grease a 9″x13″ pan with coconut oil, set aside. In a food processor, purée aduki beans and apple. Add the avocado and process. Add the remaining ingredients, except the walnuts, to the food processor and blend well scraping down the sides occasionally. Add walnuts to the mixture and pulse a few times into the mix. Spread mixture into prepared pan and bake for 60 minutes. Let cool completely. Frost with the following recipe to finish. ©Janice Moreland http://thekitchentwist.com

This frosting recipe was inspired by something I found online and decided to share my version of it here.

Frosting

1- 2 ripe avocados
1/4 cup raw cacao powder
1/4 cup raw honey or agave nectar
1/8 t Himalayan sea salt
1 t vanilla extract
4 drops orange, lemon, cinnamon, clove or other pure essential oil*

Whirl all together in a Blendtec* Blender until smooth. Use to frost the brownies after they have cooled.

*Note: Use a pure essential oil that is safe to take internally.

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Key lime pie used to be one of my favorite desserts. These days I don’t tend to eat much dessert but I certainly remember key lime pie with fondness. I gathered all the creative juices I have and came up with a parfait version that is health promoting and delicious! As it turns out, chia lime parfaits are not only dairy free and egg free it is also wheat free, soy free, gluten free and absolutely wonderful! These makes up very fast and easy, it is delicious food with a nutritious twist at its best.

THE TWIST

Chia lime parfaits have a ton of health benefits, more than I could possible mention here but here are a few healthy reasons to make these the next time you crave a fun and sweet treat.

The lime is famous for being a cure of scurvy, the disease which is caused due to a vitamin C deficiency and characterized by frequent infections with cough and cold; cracked lips, ulcers in tongue and mouth with swollen and bleeding gums. Other benefits of this little green citrus fruit are that it keeps the skin shining and reduces body odor, it aids digestion and helps solve constipation. Limes contain special compounds with detoxifying properties which help heal peptic and oral ulcers. Limes can help heal gout through its antioxidants and detoxifiers. They can assist in weight loss if enough are eaten. Since they are very high in potassium they are very effective in removing toxic substances throughout the urinary system, stopping prostate growth in men and clearing calcium deposits in the urinary tract system. They also assist in curing arthritis, rheumatism, prostate and colon cancer, diabetes, fatigue, heart disease and more.

Chia seeds were an important energy source for Mayans, Incas and other ancient cultures, and remain a dietary staple in  many South and Central American countries. Just 1 tablespoon of chia seeds contains 5 grams of fiber, 3 grams of protein, 2282 mg of Omega 3 and 752 mg of Omega 6 fatty acids! A significant concentration of fiber combined with their ability to absorb 10 times their weight in water also makes chia seeds excellent for maintaining regularity. This fiber content also helps normalize blood glucose levels by slowing the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar. Chia seeds contain respectable concentrations of potassium, calcium, iron, phosphorus and manganese. Chia seeds are extremely nutrient-dense, with one of the highest antioxidant concentrations of any known food! With an amazing nutritional profile, mild flavor, and impressive versatility, it’s hard to think of a reason NOT to incorporate more of these super seeds into your diet!

 

http://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/fruit/health-benefits-of-lime.html
http://www.mnn.com/food/healthy-eating/stories/chia-seeds-health-benefits-tips-and-recipe
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CHIA LIME PARFAITS WITH MANGO

For the Crumble:

1 1/2 cups almond meal
3/4 cup walnuts
9 Medjool dates, pitted
1 1/2 t vanilla extract
1 t stevia (Sweet Leaf)
1/8 t Himalayan sea salt

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor fitted with the “S” shaped chopping blade. Pulse and process until crumbly. Set aside

For the filling:

1 large avocado, pitted and peeled
1 (13.5 oz.) can coconut milk
Zest of 1 large lime
3/4 cup freshly squeezed key lime juice (or juice of about 3 large limes)
1/2 cup xylitol
4 drops lime essential oil
1 t stevia (Sweet Leaf)
1/3 cup chia seeds
1 large mango, diced

Combine all except the chia seeds and mango in a blender and whirl until smooth. Add the chia seeds and pulse the blender enough to just incorporate the seeds into the mix. Pour a small amount into parfait glasses, top with a little of the crumble and then some mangoes. Repeat. Chill 1 or more hours. Serves 8. ©Janice Moreland http://thekitchentwist.com

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Seitan is typically used as a meat alternative. Made from the protein-rich wheat gluten it is tasty and nutritious. It is fat free, starch free and easy to make. However it is ridiculously expensive when purchased pre-packaged and therefore I bring you a very robust and roasted flavored seitan and a fraction of the cost of what is available in the grocery stores.  For a lighter version, tone down or eliminate some of the herbs and seasonings and/or use water instead of vegetable broth. This recipe is easy to flavor as desired with any combination of seasonings.

THE TWIST

Seitan (correctly pronounced as say-TAHN) is a vegetarian food made from wheat gluten. Often called mock meat or wheat meat, it is made by dissolving the starch in wheat with water, leaving the gluten behind. The gluten is then cooked and eaten as a meat substitute. If you’re a vegetarian and you’re tired of tofu, try seitan. It’s cholesterol-free and very low in fat and sodium, and although it’s made from wheat, it’s also low in carbs. Even if you’re not a vegetarian, you can use seitan to replace a few red meat dishes every week to cut down on your intake of fat and cholesterol.

Often called “wheat meat,” seitan is very high in protein and amino acids and can have a dense and/or chewy texture like some meats. A serving of seitan provides more protein than two medium eggs and none of the cholesterol. Seitan has more plant protein than tofu, another popular meat substitute. Unlike tofu, seitan can be used by those with soy allergens and doesn’t tend to have a strong flavor of its own. Obviously those with wheat allergies will want to avoid seitan. Seitan is not only high in protein but also provides a considerable amount of B vitamins, iron, and other vitamins and minerals. It has no cholesterol and is very low in fat. Alone, it has very low sodium as well, but often times the seasonings and broth it is cooked in does add a bit of salt. Seitan is healthy on its own, but it can be prepared many different ways.

http://drgullo.com/diet-resources/food-list/how-to-add-seitan-to-your-diet/
http://expertscolumn.com/content/health-benefits-seitan

SEITAN IN A CROCKPOT

2 cups vital wheat gluten
1 t each of granulated garlic, ground ginger, ground sage, thyme leaves, marjoram, rosemary, savory, paprika
1/2 t each of turmeric, ground black pepper, kelp powder, cumin
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
3 T Braggs liquid aminos
2 t sesame oil

Broth:

4 cups vegetable broth
1/4 cup Braggs liquid aminos
1/2 t Himalayan sea salt
4 slices of ginger root
4 garlic cloves sliced lengthwise

Combine the wheat gluten with all the dry spices. Combine the wet ingredients and add them to the dry ingredients. Knead the dough several times to incorporate the dry with the wet ingredients and allow to stand for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the broth ingredients in a 5 quart crockpot and turn heat to the high setting. Knead dough again about 6 to 10 times and form into a perfectly round shape and place in the crockpot with the broth. Cover. Heat on high for 6 to 8 hours. The seitan will have expanded and the broth will be flavorful and the consistency of a fine gravy. Remove, slice and drizzle seitan with the sauce from the crockpot. This can be used chopped in salads, casseroles, in wraps and sandwiches or seasoned and served in any way. Refrigerate or freeze any unused portions for later use. ©Janice Moreland http://thekitchentwist.com

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When I was growing up it was clear that my father loved strawberries. Anything and everything that contained strawberries, I knew Dad would love it. These days, I remember Dad when I serve up something with strawberries and this is no exception. He would have loved this smoothie and I’m sure you will love it too. Enjoy this guilt-free smoothie either as a breakfast beverage, or served up in very small stemware as a “dessert appetizer” at your next gathering with friends or family.

THE TWIST

Just one cup of strawberries contains over 13% of your dietary fiber needs which helps keep digestion regular and lowers blood pressure. They are full of antioxidants which give them their red color and they fight against inflammatory disorders such as osteoarthritis and asthma. Thanks to their high vitamin C content, folate and other properties, strawberries a delicious defense against potentially cancerous cells. They promote healthy eyes, a healthy immune system and are full of minerals especially manganese which helps fight the battle against free radicals and oxidative stress and lessens cellular inflammation. Strawberries are great for building and maintaining healthy bones and they even help to keep teeth pearly white.

Coconut water contains electrolytes and minerals to replenish hydration levels in the body. It is composed of many naturally occurring bioactive enzymes which help digestion and metabolism and despite being very light it’s mineral content is impressive. Coconut water contains calcium, iron, copper, manganese, magnesium, zinc and more potassium than bananas. It also contains lots of phytonutrients and several B-complex vitamins and folate and even a small amount of vitamin C.

http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/coconut-water.html
http://www.healthdiaries.com/eatthis/8-health-benefits-of-strawberries.html

STRAWBERRIES AND CREAM SMOOTHIE

14 oz. coconut water
2 cups fresh organic or frozen strawberries
1/4 cup xylitol
1 T fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 t stevia
1/2 t vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups cashews
lemon wedge garnish (optional)
Mint sprigs garnish (optional)

Blend all ingredients except the cashews in a Blendtec blender. Remove 1/3 cup from blender. Add the cashews and blend thoroughly. Pour into 2 to 4 cups. Swirl reserved mixture into each cup. Garnish with lemon wedges and mint sprigs if desired.  ©JaniceMoreland http://thekitchentwist.com

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This smooth warm soup, also known as borscht in some northern European countries, is not only brightly colored but also has a big bold flavor and is packed with nutrition. It is sure to warm your body and sooth your soul.

THE TWIST

The pigments that give beets their rich colors functions both as antioxidants and as an anti-inflammatory. The combination of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory molecules in beets makes this food a great option for risk reduction of many cancer types including colon, stomach, nerve, lung, breast, prostate and testicular cancers. Beet fiber has also been a nutrient of increasing interest in health research. While many people tend to lump all food fiber into one single category called “dietary fiber,” there is evidence to suggest that all dietary fiber is not the same. Beet fiber is a specific type of food fiber that may provide special health benefits, particularly with respect to health of our digestive tract including the prevention of colon cancer and our cardiovascular system.

Beet consumption also helps prevent birth defects, is good for the liver and is a natural detoxifier, boosts energy, improves blood flow to the brain, prevents cataracts and macular degeneration, and is good for the heart.

http://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/vegetable/health-benefits-of-beet.html
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=49

BEET SOUP

1 lg onion, chopped
8 cups vegetable broth
6 beets, steamed/peeled and quartered
8 large new potatoes, quartered
1 bay leaf
1 t turmeric
1 t kelp powder
1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Tofuti  sour  cream (optional)

Sauté the onion in the coconut oil in a large pot until tender. Add the next 8 ingredients and cook on medium until the potatoes are tender. Remove from heat and add the lemon juice and remove the bay leaf. Using an immersion blender purée the soup while in the pot. Serve warm or cold with a dollop of non-dairy sour cream.  Makes 8 servings.  ©Janice Moreland http://thekitchentwist.com