Healthy Killer Chocolate Cupcakes

Yes, finally! I have been trying to find or remake a recipe for cupcakes in a healthy version for a while, but with not much luck. Until today! Because at last, I made “gimme more it is soo good” HEALTHY  killer chocolate cupcakes! Yum!

I found this mouthwatering recipe on this website, and so I replaced the ingredients with healthy substitutions!

You guys, who’ve been following me, already know that I am a such a big sweet-tooth! If you are new to my blog, the no. 1 thing you need to know about me that I love cupcakes, sweets, cakes, chocolate, etc.. I am a sweets lover! (Among a bunch of other things, such as being spiritual, having a holistic approach to life, and trying to live in or create the balance between my mind, body, and soul.) Anyways, if you want to find out more about me you can read it yourself here!:)

But back to the cupcakes now!

So, the struggle I have had is to make cupcakes from gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, non-GMO, organic ingredients with the texture being moist, tender and yummy!

On the other hand, the frosting…oh that frosting…To make it from buttercream, using confectioners sugars, and regular cream is simple and straightforward. BUT to use coconut milk is not giving itself easy. Although, this time I used heavy coconut cream and coconut sugar. This combination made it much better than using maple syrup, honey, or something more liquidy. (I know the pro cupcake bakers probably are asking themselves, really?! You tried to use a liquid form sweetener for making the frosting?) My answer is yes, I might be an amateur, but I had hope. (I still have:P)

This frosting has turned out to be AMAZING! Tasty, tender and perfect, not hard to decorate with!!! The perfect combination of the cacao powder and the melted dark chocolate. Insane chocolate flavor!

As for the cupcake batter, I might add a little more milk, or hot water next time, just to make it even more tender. If you do it is guaranteed, you’re not gonna tell the difference between a healthy and an original yet unhealthy one.

The original recipe used regular ingredients and made a bigger batch, I only made half a batch, since it was an experiment to substitute the ingredients.

Equally important the fact that this was the first time I tried to make a lovely decoration with the frosting..:)

Hey, don’t judge, I am far not a pro..I just need some practice:)

chocolate cupcakes

I know..They are a little ugly:) 

Killer Double Chocolate Cupcakes
 As I already mentioned, I made half of the batch, so I was able to make 9 cupcakes out of that portion. I am going to list the ingredients for almost double amount, so for 16 cupcakes. Feel free to divide it in half it if you want just 8-9 cupcakes. (But you can learn from my mistake, NOT GONNA BE ENOUGH!;)
 
Ingredients
Cupcakes:
  • 1⅓ cups (185 g/6.5 oz) gluten-free flour (I used brown rice flour)
  • ½ cup (50 g/1.7 oz) cocoa powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick/113 g) butter, softened to room temperature (I used this grass fed butter)
  • 1 cup (200 g/7 oz) coconut sugar ( I would use only 3/4 cup because it is sweeter than sugar)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (120 ml) non-dairy milk (I found this awesome Macadamia Milk, so I used that)
  • ½ cup (120 ml) hot water
Chocolate Frosting:
  • ⅔ cup (1 and ⅓ sticks/150 g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1⅓ cups (160 g/5.5 oz) coconut sugar, sifted
  • ¼ cup (25 g/1 oz) cocoa powder, sifted
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 115 g/4 oz dark chocolate, melted and slightly cooled (I used this one, which I LOVE because it is sugar, dairy, and soy free!)
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) heavy coconut cream
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Line cupcake liners in a muffin tin.
  2. For the cupcakes: Add the dry ingredients into a medium bowl.
  3. Beat together butter and sugar on medium speed, until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as necessary. On medium speed, beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each other. Add vanilla extract and beat until combined.
  4. With the mixer on low speed, add half of the dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Then whisk in milk, followed by the other half of the dry ingredients, beating until combined. Add hot water and beat just until mixed. Do not overmix—the less you mix, the lighter the cake will be. The batter should be liquid.
  5. Divide batter evenly among cups, filling them about ¾ full. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow cupcakes to sit for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
  6. For the frosting:  Beat butter at with an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  7. Add coconut sugar and beat until smooth. Add cocoa powder and beat until completely creamy and smooth. Beat in vanilla extract, melted chocolate, and heavy cream, mixing until combined.
  8. Use frosting immediately to frost cupcakes, or store in the fridge, covered, for up to 3 days. Before using, bring to room temperature and whisk until smooth.
  9. Cupcakes are best the same day they’re made but can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Unfrosted cupcakes can be kept in the freezer for up to 2 months. Thaw, still covered, on the counter or overnight in the fridge.

chocolate cupcakes

Enjoy!

J.

My Thrive Market favorites in April

OMG I found this amazing online store, Thrive Market!!

I spread the word everywhere I can, because they really are amazing!

I decided to share my Thrive Market Favorites every month. They have so many wholesome products, it is hard not to love them all.

thrive

What is Thrive Market?

Thrive market is basically heaven for a health and environment conscious person! The land of healthy food and natural beauty products!

Vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, environment-friendly, and on and on and on, you name it! You can find everything here for a health conscious life!

There are tons of  reasons why I love them, but the main ones are the followings:

  • They have all the best-selling brands  at wholesale prices
  •  25-50 % discount compared to other grocery- stores
  • More than that, they have their own brand products as well

Say whaaaa? Yes all that is true, you can believe your eyes!!

This is not the end of the benefits yet!

  • If you buy stuff for at least 49 $ (which is really easy because they have all the goodies for awesome prices) the shipping is free!
  • You can register for free, there is an annual membership you need to pay which is ONLY 59.95 $.
  • For every paying member, a membership is given to a low-income American family. Isn’t this awesome?! I love the mission of this company!

Check this out, I have been doing my shopping with them since December, and I already saved 287.61 $! (Wow, I have a few ideas what to spend it instead, haha)

Check their website, I can only recommend joining. I have no complaints, but only good experience with them so far!

As I order monthly, I not only save money but time as well, which is pretty crucial of course in our everyday lives.

It was not easy to pick my current favorites, but here they are:

My April favorites
  1.  Organic Coconut Oil

This is their own brand, but the reason why I love using this great quality because it is organic, unrefined, cold-pressed and a virgin version. It smells like coconut!

In our world’s today, it is a well-known fact how beneficial coconut oil for us, not only for our skin (helps a lot on my eczema) but for our body as well! Just to mention a few:

  • It is high in natural saturated fats, so it prevents heart disease and high-blood pressure
  • Improves endurance and energy
  • Improves digestion 
  • You can use it for cooking and baking as well (Yes I use only this oil for my desserts!;))

2. Gluten-free rolled oats

Oh my, those delicious oatmeal breakfasts, with some delish fresh fruits and seeds! Or the mouthwatering sweet recipes you can make with them, oooh yes!

Love them!

I also use Oatmeal products for my eczema, it is good for the skin as well!

3. Unsweetened Macadamia Milk

I don’t really consume dairy, and I tried to find a great milk substitute, which in unsweetened and doesn’t contain too many preservatives, especially not carrageenan.

This milk doesn’t only taste delicious (not watery at all like other nut milks) but the texture of it is amazing! I use it for baking, breakfasts, for my coffee as well!

I always order at least 2 every month! As a matter of fact, I haven’t even seen this product at any other grocery store either, so another plus point for Thrive!

4. Crunchy Banana Chocolate Bar

OMG, I LOVE CHOCOLATE!!!

If there would be only one kind of sweets I can eat for the rest of my life it would be chocolate! (and cupcakes, that’s two, hmm..) But chocolate! (and cupcakes)

As a matter of fact, dark chocolate is really good for you!

  • It is a powerful antioxidant (higher than most other foods)
  • It is a longevity food! (Hear me choc lovers!)
  • It has a lot of vitamins because of the cocoa (iron, manganese, magnesium, copper, zinc)

Why do I love this particular brand?

Btw Thrive has a many different kinds of healthy dark chocolates, I am on my mission to try them all!;)

The best thing about this one though, that it is refined sugar-free! No soy, no milk, no gluten, only organic fair-trade ingredients! YES!! My only problem with it though that it has all these benefits, plus it is as delicious that it’s hard not to eat the whole bar in one piece! 😀

Warning, it is ADDICTIVE!! Guilt-free munching, woohoo!

5. Chipotle Lime Mayo with Avocado Oil

Wow, this!!

I already mentioned that I avoid dairy, and processed, and refined food. I am so so so grateful for this product, it is a vegan mayo! The additional benefit that it is made with avocado oil, and with a Chipotle lime flavor! Delicious! My lovely boyfriend made sure that I order more after he ate the whole jar in like 2 weeks (and there was nothing left for me..)

Wooo, I am drooling now, writing about these yummy products..♥

I hope you try them, and you will love Thrive, just like I do!

Have a beautiful day,

I’ll be back with more fav-s in May!

*This post may contain affiliate links for products I love. If you make a purchase through one of these links, I will earn a commission at no extra cost to you. For my full disclaimer, please click here.*

XOXO

J.

 

 

 

The delicious last dinner of a 3 day cleanse

Yes, I did it! I did a 3-day juice cleanse created by my favorite health and spiritual guru, cancer thriver Kris Carr!

I am such a big fan and follower of her, I own all of her books, they are just so so so amazing!

It is spring time anyway, and the body needs some rejuvenation! In addition, you will find out from the post what else made me do this cleanse! Sooner or later, I needed this!:)

Why did I want to do the cleanse?

Well, even though, I am eating in a clean and healthy way most of the time, sometimes I allow myself a little binging and cheating here and there.

Especially if we are on vacation.

In the first place, I didn’t do it because I wanted to loose weight, I just wanted to give a break to my body, cleanse and detoxify it. My body was craving for it and was grateful after I did it!

K. and I had a few days of getaway. We were really stressed and felt like we need to leave everything behind and escape for a few days!

We found a beautiful Spa in Asheville, NC, and we spent a whole day there. It is called the Omni Grove Park Inn, and it is soo relaxing and beautiful! We didn’t stay in the hotel, we just visited the wellness and spa center, but it was such a great experience!

You get your own slippers, gown, and locker. Unfortunately, I couldn’t make any picture inside the Spa, because phones were not allowed, but I made some nice shots of the environment. You can also check the website for additional pictures; this place is so breath-taking!

omni

omni cleanse

The whole spa area is 43.000 square feet with beautiful rock walls, tunnels, and arches.  There are 2 therapeutic water pools, and 2 cooler pools with underwater music! You can float on the water and listen to the relaxing sounds.They provide all-day healthy snacks and refreshments, not to mention the peppermint iced towels to make the sauna experience even more relaxing. They have 20 water features, mineral-based pools. A private area for men and separately for women with steam rooms, saunas, and exhilarating contrast pools. (I jumped in the cold pool a couple times, I am proud of myself, it was SUPER cold, but was such a refreshing feeling after the sauna or the hot pool!) They also have fireside lounges where you can read, chat with your women friends or you can get the snacks and refreshments. The place is really relaxing and peaceful; you can easily take a nap on one of the beds on the sides of the pools.

I definitely want to go back in the future, it was such an awesome day and I would wholeheartedly recommend it for you too! Make sure to get there around opening hours, because the place is limited and after a certain amount of people they will not provide any more entries! You can find nice prices of the hotel and the spa here!

I loved it! It made my mind and body so relaxed and forgot about everything else!

But so back to the cleanse. (Btw sauna is a great for the skin and flushing out the toxins from your body, so I was even happier to go before I got to do my cleanse)

On our trip (we visited other cities in NC and VA ) we were indulging in delicious, but not necessarily healthy foods for a couple days. In fact, I gotta confess sometimes we ate pretty crappy fast food. (Yikes!) I felt bad after our mini getaway, I truly felt like I need a cleanse.

I already tried this 3 day cleanse of Kris‘ a couple of months earlier, so I thought I would give it another shot because I liked it in the first place. You can find the whole cleanse in Kris’ book Crazy Sexy Juice (it is only 10 $ on Amazon!)

It is a must have, with amazing juice, smoothie, light vegan recipes!

I thought I would share (more of you asked for it actually) the very last dinner recipe, that was my favorite! It was a little bit of a mixture of a few different foods but in a perfect combination:

  • 1/2 cup of Herbed Lentils
  • 2 cups of Zucchini Noodles with 1/3 cup of Raw Marinara Sauce
  • 1/4 cup of Cashew Cheese
  • Steamed Asparagus (The recipe says you can add extra steamed veggie of choice if you want)

Let’s get to the cheesy parts then;)

1. Herbed lentils

Yields 2 1/2 cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup green, black, or brown lentils, dried
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh thyme, leaves only, minced (or 1/2  teaspoon dried thyme)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Place the lentils, garlic and broth or water in a medium pot and bring them to boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cover. Cook until the lentils have absorbed all of the liquid, approximately 20 to 30 minutes. Add some more water if they are not tender enough.
  2. Set the lentils aside and let them cool for 10 minutes. Toss them with the rest of the ingredients. The leftovers will keep for up to 3-4 days, stored in an airtight container in the fridge.

 

2. Zucchini Noodles

You will need one large zucchini, and that will make around 3 cups of noodle.This is easy breezy. You can either use a julienne peeler, or a spiralizer to make nice noodle shape. At the same time, they will work with a regular peeler just as well, you will have long noodles this case. You can eat them raw, or slightly

This is easy breezy. You can either use a julienne peeler, or a spiralizer to make nice noodle shape. At the same time, they will work with a regular peeler just as well, you will have long noodles this case. You can eat them raw, or slightly sauteed. (I ate them sauteed with a little olive oil.)

3. Raw Marinara Sauce

Yields 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 red or yellow bell pepper, trimmed and seeds removed
  • 3/4 cup cherry tomatoes, halved, or Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (oil-packed, or dried and rehydrated)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup basil
  • 1 pitted Medjool date

Directions:

Blend all ingredients in a high-speed blender till smooth, adding a little water if needed. The sauce will keep in the fridge up to three days stored in an airtight container. You can serve it over the spiralized zucchini, but I used the leftovers for regular rice pasta and worked perfectly.;)

4. Cashew Cheese

Yields 1 1/2 cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups raw cashews, soaked 8 hours or overnight
  • 1/2 teaspon sea salt
  • 4 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 3 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (optional)
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup water
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Place the cashews, salt, yeast, lemon and garlic in a food processor. Pulse until it is smooth. You might need to stop a few times and scrape the food processor bowl down.
  2. Add some water if needed. You are aiming for the texture of a thick hummus, so add some accordingly.
  3. Check the cheese for seasoning. Add black pepper and salt if needed. Stored in an airtight container it will keep up to five days in a fridge.

Now, you have all the 4 different components! As I mentioned at the beginning, if you want you can steam or sautee some veggies in addition. Once you are done with that too, all you need to do is serve it and eat it all!;) Yum!

cleanse

I really enjoyed this cleanse, by the way! You make your homemade veggie and fruit juices, smoothies, light dinner options based on Kris’ recipes. She provides a grocery store list and other than that, some healthy snacks to make sure you are not hungry through this 3-day day proccess.

I would definitely say I felt much better, detoxified, cleaner, lighter and more energized after!

All in all, I would totally recommend it to you too! The most important reason why I love it, because it doesn’t let you starve, on the contrary, you will hardly notice that you can’t eat anything solid but the dinner!

Once again, here is Kris’ book, it is definitely worth it!

Let me know if you made the recipes and tried the cleanse, I am excited for you how you like it!

*Some links are affiliate links in this post meaning,  I may get a small commission if you make a purchase. ( no additional cost to you, though)

Judy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to run a business and travel at the same time

This guest post I received from Sara by startbloggingonline.com just made this great article about how to run a business and travel at the same time!

I hope it helps!:)

Business or vacation?

Wouldn’t it be amazing if you run a business, earn a lot of money and still be able to travel? In fact, you can do all of them at the same time. There are a lot of business who owners who take 6 months off from their business to go to other countries.

They don’t necessarily stop working, but they simply manage the business even if they are far away. They also make major decisions and solve problems should they arise. While doing all of these things, they are in a wonderful place where they are well-rested.

This might sound crazy, but it is possible. Take note that with the advent of the Internet, you can now access your business wherever you may be. In fact, there are businesses that run entirely online. As long as you can communicate with your business partners and employees online, you can get things done. The money will keep flowing while you keep having fun.

In short, you become more financially stable, but you are not burnt out in the process. Some business owners tend to be very busy with their business that they end up not being able to have time for recreation. If you reach this point, you won’t feel satisfied anymore even if your business does well.

By planning your schedule well and by delegating the tasks to your employees, it is possible to keep traveling while running a successful business. Check out the infographic below for more tips on how you can balance everything. This is how you become the boss of your own business. You manage your own time and you don’t let your source of income become the source of your misery at the same time.

How to Run A Business While Traveling For Six Months Every Year

J.

Thursday Cupcake aka a bit of cheating

This blog post is a little bit more personal. (What can I do, I love cupcake!!!)

It is also gonna be useful because I will share a little sneak peek how I beat my cravings. Or how I let them get me, haha.

Cupcakes, oh, sweet cupcakes

So my big things are sweets in all kind (almost, I am not a big candy fan, more like chocolate, cakes, CUPCAKES, yes!) Oh, those cupcakes, I could eat them anytime!

Most of the time, I make my desserts from healthy ingredients. But with the cupcakes,  I just couldn’t get the “OMG I am in heaven” feeling so far! (only with the real, not that healthy ones) I found a store in Florida, where they make healthy ones. They have a few stores and they also deliver. Check it out here! That was kinda like my safe haven for sure!

Although, I am not gonna give up on making them in a healthy way for myself until I can at least get closer to the taste of the regular ones!

Can you relate to the feeling, when you pass a cupcake store, and you glimpse those nice, tasty, mouthwatering “heaven bites”? (that’s how I call them, haha!? They make you drool and look like a little puppy who begs for some treats, right? (or is it just me? :D) Okay, it doesn’t have to be a cupcake, it can be your fav donut or candy! Come on, I am sure you know what I’m talking about! 😉

Cupcakes

Anyways, so it was last week when I had this huge and intense craving for cupcakes for like 3 days!

It is funny because I saw an ad the other day, that they look for store assistants in the cupcake store! I was like, woow, it would be a great really bad idea for me, because I would eat the cupcakes instead of selling them, haha! 😀

I knew I needed to do some groceries and the grocery store happens to be super close to the local cupcake store.  I was like, you know what?

My lifestyle is healthy in general. I eat really healthy and clean in 80-90 %  so I can afford some cheating sometimes.

 So I decided to buy some, and get over with it.

Wow, they had an amazing and appealing selection, I could hardly choose! I wish I could try all, haha! First of all, that would not be only a little cheating. Second of all, my tummy would much likely say, it is enough already if you don’t want to see those cupcakes in the toilet next. 😀

After 10 minutes of debating, I chose 4 lovely, yummy beauties! ! 4, so my boyfriend can have some too. 😛

Cupcakes

So I tried all 4 of them, but all together I ate 2!

Do I feel guilty? No! Not at all! 

As I already mentioned I only cheat once every other week, or max 3-4 times a month. Other than that, I eat home-cooked meals, whole foods, fresh organic vegetables, fruits, and most importantly unprocessed food!I also knew that after cheating I will go back straight to my clean eating, thus my tummy can easily forget about the “bad, but unbelievably delicious” stuff.

 

I exercise regularly, I drink a lot of water, and last, but not least I take my vitamin supplements every day.

And you know what? At the school, 

where I am studying right now, becoming a holistic nutrition and lifestyle coach, we also learned about cravings. It might be surprising or not, but what we were taught is:

 

 If the cravings are constantly there for one particular food, just go for it! Enjoy, and the get back to your healthy eating!

 

Why is it okay to cheat a little bit sometimes?

I can’t emphasize the word SOMETIMES enough! Before you would get super enthusiastic about eating sweets every day, don’t forget that! 😉

As a matter of fact, if you stick to a really clean and healthy eating in general, it can become extremely challenging and frustrating after a while! It requires extra willpower, constant attention about what you eat and how you eat it, especially if you eat out a lot. So, to do it 100% right, for a  long time, without cheating at least once in a while, is almost impossible!

I heard it from many experts, that eliminating certain foods from our diet for a very long time is not necessarily beneficial for our body (unless you have a serious allergy or sensitivity to it.) The simple explanation is that if we add it back to our diet, or even just eat it suddenly, then the reaction of our body might be harsh to it. As well as our digestive system might get stressed and have a hard time digesting that type of food.

Important to bear in mind that every single time you let the craving win, do it ONLY with moderation! And make sure that the other 80 or 90 % , you stick to healthy eating.

Meaning; no refined, processed foods. No preservatives, food coloring, or other added chemicals, flavors, and impossible to pronounce additives, junk food is on your menu. Instead: fresh, organic, whole foods, fruits, and vegetables, grass-fed beef, organic, cage-free eggs, etc.!

Thus, don’t buy 10 cupcakes and eat them in 20 minutes. (and feel guilty afterward btw)

Buy 1 or 2 and enjoy! But after you had your mouth orgasm, and food heaven moment, don’t forget to go back to your clean eating and don’t cheat for a while. Let it be 2 weeks, a month, leave a little time for your system to flush and clean out after the “bad” food you consumed.

You will feel it how your body reacts to what foods and you can figure it out which way of eating is the best for you.

As long as you eat like this, a binge once in a while will cause no harm in your system.

IN MODERATION is the key word! 😉

So, as for me, after having an amazing time with those cupcakes, the following day I fasted for 16 hours with Bulletproof coffee, drank a lot of water, and headed to the gym!

Did you cheat with something this week? By the way, I don’t like the word “cheating” let’s call it pleasure food from now on! Sounds much better, without a negative, guilty emotion attached to it!

Have a great day,

Judy