Homemade Larabars [Recipe Review]

homemade larabars

Hello my fellow travellers,

A friend of mine recently shared The Elliot Homestead’s recipe on Larabars. You can find Larabars in your local organic grocery stores and they sell at 3-4 bucks a pop. Quite pricey if you ask me! After going through the Homestead recipe, I thought these would make a great addition to any kitchen and are SO easy to prepare. Added bonus is that these Larabars are made of all natural ingredients – no artificial sugar, gluten free, and guilt free.

IMG_20140430_093550

Ready to eat

The Larabars are also cheap to put together. I bought a big box of pitted dates (1 kg for $5) and already had nuts and shredded coconut on hand. The only change I made to this recipe was  instead of making separate flavors I combined it into one coconut chocolate Larabar (almonds, organic shredded coconut, dates, and gluten free chocolate chips). And might I say these turned out fantastic. I whipped them up right after breakfast in my food processor and was done in half an hour from start to finish.

I also found the recipe needed more dates than the one cup it called for. You need a nice sticky mixture so they don’t fall apart on you. So add more dates but make sure you keep taste-testing so the Larabars don’t taste overwhelming of date and less of the other flavors.

IMG_20140430_085054

Before

IMG_20140430_085720

After

IMG_20140430_090412

Try these out and let me know what you think in the comment section below!

Advertisements

Very Banana Banana Bread

Hello my fellow travellers,

Today’s recipe was requested by my sister-in-law who had left over ripened bananas. She dropped them off at my house so I could whip up a quick bread. Suffice to say, the house smells amazing after the bread comes out of the oven.

IMG_5885

The key is to have very ripe bananas and very soft butter for the recipe. That means leave the butter out the night before if you have to (as long as it won’t melt). Another key factor is to NOT over mix the batter while adding flour otherwise you’ll end up with a brick of bread not a moist loaf of banana goodness.

IMG_5888

Continue reading

Delectable Raspberry Cheesecake

Hello my fellow travellers,

Since my last post, I promised a cheesecake recipe. I don’t go back on my promises. This recipe was adapted from Kraft and All recipes. I ran into a bit of a problem when I realized I needed 5 bricks of cream cheese and only had three but I made do. Later on, I scoured through my kitchen pots and pans looking for my 9-inch springform pan. I finally found it but it was broken as in it would not sit on the base. I ended up using the 10-inch pan. So keep in mind, this recipe will make a perfectly thick cheesecake in a 9-inch pan and a flatter cake in a 10-inch pan.

IMG_7426

Raspberry cheesecake purdyfied

This is my third time making cheesecake at home. The previous two times I made Oreo cheesecake and it was a hit with my family. My sister remarked, “Did you get this from the store?” My biggest issue with cheesecake is the cracks though I am working my way around this and slowly getting better. I’ll mention some tips later to avoid cracking.

IMG_7429

Slice of cheesecake. New York style.

I’m not the biggest fan of different fruity flavours in my cheesecake (I prefer chocolate) but this was awesome! The raspberry jam provides the perfect tang to the cake and the fresh fruit and whip creams pairs perfectly with the cream cheese. Give this a go and let me know what you think.

Recipe

Crust

1 1/4 cup Honey maid graham crackers, crushed

1/4 cup butter, melted

2 tablespoon sugar

Cheesecake body

3 (8 oz.) bricks cream cheese, softened

3 large eggs, room temperature

3/4 cup sugar

2 tbsp sour cream

3 tbsp raspberry jam + 1 tbsp water

Garnish

35% cream, whipped

2 tbsp sugar

Fruits (blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries)

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degree c. Draw the base of the springform tin pan onto parchment paper. Cut out circle and place onto the base of the pan.
  2. Crush graham crackers in a mini food processor (or place the crackers in a large sandwich bag and crush with rolling pin). In a small bowl, combine melted butter, crushed cookies, and sugar. Mix until you get a wet sand like consistency.
  3. Press the cookie crust gently in the pan with your hands and even out in all places. Set aside.
  4. In the bowl of your stand mixer with paddle attachment (or manually use spatula or handmixer), drop in cream cheese and beat on medium speed till combined. Drop in 1 egg at a time and mix well. Incorporate sugar and sour cream. Combine well and pour into springform pan.
  5. In a saucepan on low heat, add raspberry jam (seedless jam recommended) and water to thin out the jam. If you use Smuckers or another brand it might be thin already so skip this step. I used an organic brand and the jam was a lot thicker.
  6. Once raspberry mixture is prepared, drop 3 tbsp of mixture onto the cheesecake in different spots. Use the tip of a knife to create marble swirls.
  7. Bake in oven for 50-60 minutes.

Ways to avoid cracking: Water bath – in a pan bigger than your cake pan, add hot water (enough that it reaches half way to the springform pan) and bake in oven.

Do not over bake. If bake time is 50-60 minutes, check on your cake sooner and make sure if its cracking you lower the heat. To test and see if cake is done: Shake pan lightly and if center jiggles then your cake is done. You can poke a skewer in the center and check. It will not come out clean but the cheese will be slightly airy/bubbly but not wet.

Garnish

  1. Place glass or metal bowl and whisk in freezer for 30 minutes
  2. Whip 35% cream and 2 tbsp sugar on medium speed in bowl until stiff peaks form. Do not overbeat or you will get butter!
  3. Scoop cream into a disposable icing bag and choose a decorating tip (I used star tip). Pipe icing onto cake in whichever style you desire.
  4. Get fresh blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries and garnish.

Enjoy!