Monday 20 March 2017


Organic Vegan Matcha and Cacao Cake
Dabbling in the Dark Arts:  vegan baking! ;)

I'm detoxifying from my 8 days of over-indulgence in Cancun, Mexico at one of the best all-inclusive resorts I've visited.  The Club Med we stayed at had so many activities that there was something for everybody: archery, trapeze, sailing, SUP, tennis...

We did it all...and of course I spent the first 2 days sleeping on the beach just to catch up on missed relaxation time! The food was very good too!  I tried my best to eat healthy, gf & all that.  By the 4th day, I was pretty much sick of the buffet lines and was mostly eating from the salad area.  But hey, what's a vacation if you don't eat dessert right?  I had my fair share of flan and tiny portioned dainty cakes & desserts too.  Skip to the recipe on the bottom if you don't want to hear about my back woes! lol.
Organic Ceremonial Grade Matcha is sifted over the cake after removal from the springform pan
I think I was pretty good with my workouts though!  I worked out every day except for the day we went to visit Tulum.  On the last day, I worked our for 2 1/2 hours in the morning and I was pretty much practicing IF.  I was doing fasted workouts:  weights, kettlebells and some cardio on the elliptical or treadmill to finish up. Then I would join my fam for lunch at the buffet for my first meal of the day.  I was down to 2 meals because frankly, I wasn't that hungry considering each meal was a buffet bonanza.  Unfortunately,  on the last day, I tweaked my back reaching for the two 25 lb dumbbells.  I felt a sort of a pop (ugh).  It was not great on the plane ride home and upon waking up in Vancouver on the first day back home, I could barely walk.  Yesterday I did some self-adjustments (lying on the ground, knees up, pushing/pulling on my knees alternately using my own musculature, mobility and strength to try to realign my spine & pelvis).  Today I visited my friend who is a chiropractor and I'm feeling a lot better but I've got to keep up those stretches.

Since my garden's frozen, I used dried rosebuds to decorate. The petals are crispy & add a floral scent
My GP's advice is to try low carbing it to lose more weight (it's dang difficult with Hashimoto's disease) despite my working out several hours every week consistently. Also, I have a feeling he's going to be putting me on iron supplements again.  I try to eat more protein because of this (I'm not vegan...sorry, it would compromise my health which is pretty wonky as it is).  My blood work I had done recently showed I was iron deficient :(   I told him I was losing lots of hair for the past year and bit and ya know, I used to have tons of hair before all my thyroid issues.   It sux.  Everything about Hashi's sux. Especially trying to figure out on my own what works and doesn't work with feeling optimally healthy.  I know for sure I've built up lots of muscle this past year.  The other day, I had to scratch my tricep area. Dang if I didn't feel surprised as I hit hard muscle! ya! No batwings for this English teacher.  One thing I'd like to avoid is having the waggling triceps I've witnessed in my youth as teachers wrote on the blackboard. *horrors!* lol
A hot sharp knife creates a clean cut with this frozen raw vegan cake
This raw vegan nice-cream cake is a good start to me re-igniting that low-carb lifestyle I used to lead. It's been so hard with trying to be gluten free that I didn't think I could take away even more from my diet.  My fave cruciferous veggies which was my primary diet prior to Hashi's have been put on the "moderation" list now because of all the goitrogens.  This cake has nuts, which my kid is allergic to...but I'll be working on another (better! new improved!) recipe to try to get rid of the nuts so that we can enjoy eating a cake together.  If it's not one thing it's another, eh?   So the holy grail of my life is a cake that is: low carb/ketogenic, nut free & gluten free.  It would be nice if it could be vegan too. But I am thinking it'll be difficult without the nuts.   Stay tuned for more experiments!  I have a ton of flavour variations planned and I'm going to get rid of the bananas and make this creamier like a cheesecake but without nuts! ya! no kidding! and pie! yes...for my pie-loving friends! gf, vegan, dairy free pie coming up next :)
A slice of zen. This little cake makes you feel all self-righteous and healthy. The tiny slice I had with my espresso is low  carb, paleo, ketogenic, gluten free, vegan, refined sugar free and dairy-free.  
1/3 cup organic raw almonds
1 tablespoon organic coconut oil
2 medjool dates, pitted
a pinch of Pink Himalayan sea salt

Nice Cream Layers:
4 frozen bananas
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
optional: a bit of almond mylk, soy, coconut or regular milk, cream or water to get it going in the processor, if needed
Matcha Layer:
1 tsp organic ceremonial grade matcha; plus more for dusting the tops for serving
Cacao Layer:
1 tsp organic cacao powder

Special equipment:  
2 4-inch springform pans, lined with parchment circles

  1. Pulse the almonds, coconut oil and dates with a pinch of sea salt in a food processor [I used my Bullet] until the almonds are evenly ground and combined with the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Divide the mixture between the two parchment-lined springform pans. Press the crust mixture into the bottoms of the two prepared springform pans. 
  3. Place the pans into the freezer for 30 minutes, or until the crust is set.
Nice Cream Layers:
  1. In a high-powered blender [I used my Vitamix] combine the frozen bananas, maple syrup and vanilla and pulse to combine.  If you find it difficult to get it going, add some liquid (any milk or water a teaspoon at a time) to get it going.  Increase speed and blend until smooth.
  2. Divide the nice cream into 2 bowls
  3. Matcha Layer: in a small bowl, mix a tiny bit of hot water with your matcha powder to make a runny paste and mix the paste into one of the nice cream bowls.  Thoroughly combine. Cover and reserve in refrigerator
  4. Cacao Layer:  Mix the cacao powder with a tiny bit of hot water to make a runny paste and continue mixing until it's smooth.  Add this to the other bowl and combine thoroughly.
  5. Pour the Cacao Layer onto the two prepared frozen almond/date crusts.  Place them back in freezer for at least 30 minutes, or until set.  I lightly touch the surface to ensure it has a solid surface before proceeding with the next step.
  6. Take out the matcha layer bowl from the fridge and divide the contents equally amongst the two pans.  Place in the freezer for 4+ hours; freezing until firm
  7. To serve:  Remove your springform rings from the bottoms and plate. Dust with the extra matcha powder (you can also dust with cacao powder).  Decorate with fresh berries or other fruit or flowers.  Allow the cakes to warm up for about 15 min at room temperature before serving.  If you want to cut the cakes, heat a sharp knife under hot water before slicing.  Keep uneaten cakes in freezer, covered until ready to serve.

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