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Gluten Free Chocolate Cherry Cake (Sweetened with Stevia) Yogurt Breakfast Bowls? Yes, please! Oven-baked Leek Tortilla – Meatless Monday Recipe Raisin Oatmeal Scones (Sweetened with Honey)

Gluten Free Chocolate Cherry Cake (Sweetened with Stevia)

chococherrycakeGF001Ever since I started cutting down on refined sugar, Stevia has been my top go-to sugar replacement. In the beginning it took some effort getting used to its flavor but once you experience the benefits of reducing your refined sugar intake, you’ll come to the conclusion it was all worth it.
Sweetening Naturally – Thoughts on Refined Sugar

When buying stevia, it is important to read the label carefully. Often times what’s sold as “pure stevia” is a combination of stevia + some other artificial sweetener to create bulk (most of the time it being aspartame or acesulfame K, same substances regularly used to sweeten “Light” foods and drinks and which I try to avoid). When combined, you won’t be able to enjoy the same benefits that pure stevia offers: no empty calories, zero impact on blood’s sugar levels, just to mention a few.

Not too long ago, NuNaturals (my favorite stevia brand), launched a Cherry flavored stevia extract which I’ve had the opportunity of putting to the test. I had very good experiences with their orange and lemon variations so I was super excited to try out this new one.

Recently, I’ve also started to take small steps towards eliminating (wheat) flour from my diet as much as possible, so my first thought was to make this a Gluten Free post. Played around with some chocolate, cherries, and created this cake combining almond meal and buckwheat flour. It has a spongy texture that I didn’t think I was going to be able to pull off without any regular flour. Hope you like it!

*Tip: When looking for the dark chocolate to use in this recipe, always try and get unsweetened one so that the cake remains completely free of sugar. If you can’t find it, the best option is to get dark chocolate with a minimum of 70% cacao.

Gluten Free Chocolate Cherry Cake
Ingredients (makes an 18cm / 7 inches cake):
200g dark chocolate
6 tablespoons coconut oil
65g almond meal
50g buckwheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
175g cherries (can be canned or bottled, just try to avoid maraschino cherries)
Stevia for sweetening (I used 1 teaspoon NuNaturals’ Pure Liquid Cherry NuStevia)

1. Melt the chocolate together with the coconut oil using the bain-marie (or water bath) method.
2. In a separate bowl, combine the almond meal, buckwheat flour, baking powder and salt.
3. Beat the eggs and add to the flour mixture. Throw in the melted chocolate + coconut oil too. Add the cherries and combine.
4. The last thing we’ll do is sweeten the batter. Stevia is sweeter than regular sugar so remember to add it gradually, tasting it after every addition to know if it’s needed (or not) to add even more. One teaspoon did the trick for me.
5. Grease well or line your baking form with wax paper and pour in the batter. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C and bake for 30 minutes.
Let cool down and enjoy – Buen provecho!

Yogurt Breakfast Bowls? Yes, please!

bowl“Hot, hot, hot! My refreshing (and healthy) snack suggestion: Yogurt blended with frozen fruit, hemp seeds and spelt crunchy…”
7 months ago, this Instagram post marked the beginning of the “yogurt bowl” for me.

And thing is, yogurt bowls seem to be all the rage nowadays. People want to lose weight, become fit, eat cleaner, etc. – it’s amazing how much this healthy living trend has grown the past year (which only makes me extremely happy and excited!)- and yogurt definitely plays a big role in this.
These bowls have become one of (if not THE) most popular breakfast formula (and go-to snack): yogurt + your favorite fruit + either some superfood, granola, seeds, nuts or grains… you name it, there’s just so many possible combinations!

Fact is: if you’re looking into healthier eating habits, breakfast is THE key meal and one you should never skip.
A complete breakfast provides the necessary energy and nutrients to start off your day with the right foot. If done properly, it will also help regulate your appetite, making you feel full longer and snacking less.

This is why a yogurt parfait (sounds fancier than just calling them bowls, no?) does the trick! Delicious source of protein + it contains a good amount of fiber from the added fruit and grains.
Also, it takes less than 5 minutes to prepare! Even if you’re rushing for work, I’m quite sure you can put together a tasty, quick combination. And if that’s not the case, follow my tip and prepare it the night before – just grab it from the fridge on your way out! (make sure to store it in a covered, glass container). Preparing it at home also helps us avoid all the refined sugar probably present in most of store-sold parfaits.

Here I’m sharing 3 possible combinations I’ve come up with, using the Mild & Creamy soy yogurts from Alpro. They’ve implemented toppings to add even more versatility to the daily breakfast routine. My picks:
1. Natural yogurt + Mulberries + Muesli
2. Lemon & Lime yogurt + Pistachio + Dried Mango + Coconut flakes
3. Blueberry yogurt + Pecans + Dried cranberries + Dark Chocolate flakes
Ready in less than 3 steps! It doesn’t need to be fancy, you can always be resourceful and use the fruits and cereals (or nuts) you have at home.

Not only do they make a great breakfast, I also tend to make an extra one as a healthy dessert option or whenever I feel like eating something sweet (definitely better than cookies or chocolate + quite refreshing).
Hope you find some inspiration in my suggestions and feel free to leave a comment with your favorite yogurt breakfast bowl combinations! Happy breakfasting ~~