Health Benefits From Eating Dark Chocolate

Dark Chocolate

Who knew eating Dark Chocolate has good health benefits? Not all chocolate is healthy. Dark chocolate contains 70% higher cocoa content. The amounts of sugar contained in dark chocolate is typically substantially less than milk chocolate. Although, even with the many health benefits, dark chocolate should be consumed in moderation as it can have a large amount of calories.

  1. Dark chocolate is a powerful anti-oxidant that is good for your brain health.
  2. Can lower your blood pressure.
  3. May reduce the risk of heart disease.
  4. May lower your cholesterol.
  5. May improve your vision.

Easy Gluten-Free White Bread

1/2 cup warm Water

1 1/2 teaspoons Yeast

1 teaspoon Raw Honey

2 tablespoons melted Butter

1/2 cup Plain Yogurt

2 eggs

1/2 teaspoon Salt

1 teaspoon Baking Powder

1 1/2 Cups Grandpa’s Kitchen Gluten-Free Flour Blend

In a measuring cup measure warm water, add yeast and sugar and set aside. In mixing bowl add the rest of the ingredients. Start mixing on low. Once yeast mixture is frothy, gradually add it to mixing bowl and continue to mix until combine. The consistency should be between a very thick batter and dough. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula make sure all the dough is in the center of the mixing bowl. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes.

Lightly oil or butter bread loaf pan. After the dough has rested, scoop all of the dough into the bread pan and let rise for 30-40 minutes until the dough is within 1/4″ below the top of the rim of the pan. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 40-45 minutes until golden brown. Remove pan from oven, remove bread from pan and let it cool before slicing.

Carob Brownies

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2 Flax Eggs

1/2 Cup Unrefined Coconut Oil

1 1/4 Tsp Vanilla

1 Cup Sugar

1/2 Cup Gluten-Free Flour Blend

1/2 Cup Gluten-Free Carob Powder

1/4 Tsp Salt

Mix flax eggs with Coconut Oil, Vanilla and Sugar in a stand mixer.  Mix dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix well. Add mixture to lightly greased baking pan.

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees if using a square 8 x 8 metal baking pan, you will bake for 30 minutes. Preheat Oven to 325 degrees if using a 8 x 8 glass baking pan, you will bake for 40 min.

 

 

Almond Shortbread Cookies

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1/2 Cup All purpose gluten-free baking flour

1 Cup Oatmeal Flour

1 Tsp Baking Soda

1/4 Cup ground Almonds (unsalted)

1/4 Tsp Salt

1/3 Cup honey

1 Tsp Almond Extract

1 stick of Butter

1 Flax egg

 

Mix well all dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients and mix well together.

Take out a sheet of plastic wrap. Place dough in the middle of plastic wrap and roll into a log. Chill in the freezer for 1 hour.

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Unroll cookie log, slice into cookies.

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Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.

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This recipe makes 1 – 1 1/2 dozen cookies.

 

Super Quick Vegan Meatballs

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1 Tablespoon Ground Flaxseeds + 3 Tablespoons Water = 1 Egg

8 oz Mushrooms (grated)

1 Cup Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Flour (made with Garbanzo Beans)

1/2 Teaspoon Salt

1/4 Teaspoon Pepper

1/4 Teaspoon Cumin

1/4 Teaspoon Paprika

1/2 Teaspoon Parsley

1/4 Teaspoon Garlic Powder

1/2 Teaspoon Onion Powder

Make Flaxseed egg substitute and set aside. In a food processor, grate up mushrooms. Add flour, seasonings and flaxseed egg to food processor. Form balls and place on a cookie sheet. Bake in the oven at 425 for 20 minutes. Serve with Marinara Sauce and your favorite pasta.

 

Inspired Salmon Marinades

I admit I found this on YouTube on The Domestic Greek channel and thought this is worth a share. I have tried all of these recipes. Any variations I made are in color (parentheses). For your convenience I have listed below the recipes.

Orange Ginger Marinade

2 6-8oz salmon fillets

1 orange, zested and juice

1/2 tsp ginger, freshly grated

2 tsp honey

1 tbsp cilantro, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

(I added 2 tbsp Refined Coconut Oil)

In a small bowl, whisk together orange zest & juice, ginger, honey and salt & pepper to taste. Place salmon and marinade in a large zipper bag and allow to sit in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. Place salmon on a nonstick or parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 400ºF for 10-12 minutes or until salmon is cooked through.

Greek Marinade

2 6-8oz salmon fillets

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tbsp dill, chopped

1/2 lemon, zest and juice

2 Garlic cloves, minced

2 tbsp Oil (I used Olive Oil)

Salt and Pepper to taste

In a small bowl, whisk together herbs, lemon zest & juice, garlic, oil and salt & pepper to taste. Add marinade and salmon to a large zipper bag and allow to sit for 20 minutes in the refrigerator. Place salmon on a nonstick or parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 400ºF for 10-12 minutes or until salmon is cooked through.

Sweet & Spicy Marinade

2 6-8oz salmon fillets

1 cup pineapple juice

1 jalapeno, minced

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tsp cajun seasoning

Salt and pepper to taste

(I added 2 tbsp Refined Coconut Oil)

In a small bowl, whisk together pineapple juice, jalapeno, garlic and cajun seasoning. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour marinade over salmon and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes. When ready to cook, add salmon to a nonstick or parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 400ºF for 10-12 minutes or until salmon is cooked through.

Maple Balsamic Marinade

2 6-8oz salmon fillets

1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 Garlic clove, minced

(I added 2 tbsp Olive Oil)

1 tsp thyme Salt and pepper to taste In a small bowl, whisk together balsamic, maple syrup, garlic and thyme. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Allow to marinate for 20-30 minutes in the refrigerator. Place on a nonstick or parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 400ºF for 10-12 minutes.

Chipotle Lime Marinade

2 6-8oz salmon fillets

1/4 cup Chipotle in Adobo sauce (I used Herdez Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce)

2 Limes, zest and juice

1 tbsp Agave (I used Raw Honey)

Salt and pepper to taste

(I added 2 tbsp Refined Coconut Oil)

Cilantro for garnish

In a small bowl, whisk together Chipotle in Adobo, Lime zest & juice and Agave. Season with Salt and Pepper to taste. Place Salmon in a large zipper bag and add marinade. Refrigerate for 20-30 minutes. Place marinated Salmon fillets onto a nonstick or parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 400ºF for 10-12 minutes or until salmon is cooked through.

Cooking Substitutions

There are many substitutions that are commonly used in cooking. There are many other substitutions that are less common that I am finding out about. It’s through trial and error that I have found out what specific measurements are needed when substituting ingredients.

 


 

Baking Powder 1 tsp = 1/4 tsp Baking Soda with 1/2 tsp Cream of Tartar

Brown Sugar 1/2 Cup = 2 Tablespoons Molasses and 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar

Corn Syrup 1 Cup = 1 Cup Sugar cooked with 1/4 Cup Water

Dry Mustard 1 tsp = 1 tsp Tumeric

Egg 1 = 1 Tablespoon Flaxseed + 3 Tablespoons Water

Herbs (fresh) 1 Tablespoon = 1 tsp (dried) Herbs

Pine Nuts 1/2 Cup = 1/2 Cup Walnuts and pinch of Sage

Powdered Sugar 1 Cup = 1 Cup Sugar processed in a grinder

Unsalted Butter 1 Cup = 1 Cup Vegetable Shortening

 

Ranch Seasoning Mix

The traditional Hidden Valley Ranch packets have dairy in it. I have tried to duplicate a seasoning mix that gives a nice ranch flavor without the dairy. This mix can be used in cooking as well as dips, dressings and marinades.

These measurements are for dry ingredients. I like to pulse my seasoning in a grinder or mill for the purpose of grinding up the Onion into smaller bits. Then can be placed in a jar for long term easy storage.

2 teaspoons Parsley
1 tablespoon Dill
1/2  teaspoon Paprika
1 teaspoon Thyme
2 teaspoons Minced Onion
1/2 teaspoon Celery Salt
1 tablespoon Garlic Powder
1 teaspoon Garlic Salt
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper

Light Brown Syrup

I hate that so many things are made with high fructose corn syrup. When ever I have a recipe that calls for corn syrup. I make my own syrup. It will not be exact to corn syrup, but is very close and much healthier. When making your own syrup it is helpful to use a candy thermometer.  If you make this recipe as specified below your syrup should look like the jar in the middle. The jar on the left Syrup was made with 1/2 cup of Brown Sugar. The Jar on the right shows Syrup made with Granulated Sugar only. When making the white Syrup make sure you substitute the amount of Brown Sugar used, for Granulated Sugar.

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3/4 cup Water

2 1/2 cups Granulated Sugar

1/4 cup Brown Sugar

1/2 tsp Cream Of Tartar

1 tsp Vanilla (Optional)

Add all ingredients to a sauce pan. Cook on medium heat. Once it starts to simmer, stir constantly for 5-7 minutes, or until temperature reaches 220-230 degrees. Don’t cook too long or you will end up with hard candy. This recipe makes approximately 1 pint of Syrup.

The syrup has a short shelf life. It is recommended that you store syrup at in the refrigerator. Like honey when kept for long periods of time, it may start to crystallize. You can heat the jar slightly to make the Syrup pourable.

Pico De Gallo Salsa

pico de gallo

The translation of “Pico De Gallo” refers to Fresh Salsa. All items are inexpensive, especially in the summer when everything is in season. If you make this salsa in the winter time you will want to use Roma tomatoes. For me the easiest method to make salsa is to measure all the ingredients then place in a food processor. If doing by hand you will want to prepare each ingredient as directed.

3-4 diced Tomatillos  (1/4 cup)

4-6 diced Tomatoes

1/2 cup Cilantro finely chopped

1 Green Bell Pepper chopped

1/4 cup Sweet Onion chopped

2-3 Jalapeño Peppers chopped (if you like it hot, use seeds)

1 clove of crushed Garlic

2 tbsp. freshly squeezed Lime Juice 

Salt and Pepper to taste

 

Tomatillos are a green husk tomato. When preparing them you will remove the husk, they will be sticky and you can rinse them off with water and dice in small pieces. 

Tomatillos

To measure cilantro I remove the leaves from the stems and place in a measuring cup, when the measuring cup is full then I chop the cilantro very fine.

 measure Cilantro

After all ingredients have been chopped, mix everything together. For best results refrigerate for a couple of hours to let all the ingredients meld together.