Thursday, December 11, 2014

Viva Labs Has Your Alternative Cooking Ingredients (Coconut Flour Brownie Recipe)

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received these products free of charge, from Viva Labs, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it

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Today I have 3 new products that are perfect for GF/ Paleo. Diabetic baking this holiday season!

viva labs coconut flour

Coconut Flour is ideal for those following a gluten-free, Paleolithic, low-carb, raw food, or simply health diets! The coconut flour can be used in everyday recipes to boost the nutrition value of goods too! Viva Labs uses the buttery-like pulp of organic tropical coconuts, hand-picked fresh from farmers in the Phillipines, in compliance with fair trade practices, and is certified organic and non-GMO. The pulp is dried at low temperatures and finely ground into a soft, mildly sweet powder,  preserving all its nutrients. 

You can use coconut flour to make delicious breads, cookies and muffins, without the "after-guilt" commonly experienced with refined baked goods. Unrefined coconut flour is an excellent source of fiber, iron and health-promoting medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). MCTs provide a source of rapidly-utilized energy and have been shown to assist with healthy weight management.

When cooking with coconut flour, you can substitute ⅓ cup of coconut flour  for every 1 cup of traditional wheat flour in a recipe, as long as you double the amount of eggs,and adjust the liquid amount for a moisture batter. When cooking with coconut flour, you may what to mix coconut flour and your favorite GF mix blend, for all the included flour in a recipe, for a better taste, and more durable baking, as coconut flour used by itself can be really crumbly, and the more you use, the more you will have a coconut flavor. In some baked goods that is great, others you may not want that flavor. hence, there is a LOT of trial and error in using it, so unless you are already familiar with it, I recommend getting the larger bag, from Viva Labs, so you can experiment through the first pound (plus the bigger bag usually works out to be much cheaper).

viva labs coconut  sugar

Viva Labs Organic Coconut Sugar is also naturally sourced from the sap of sustainably-grown and non-GMO coconut palm trees, eliminating the presence of pesticides, chemicals and other harmful ingredients.
Coconut sugar adds richness to recipes,  while supporting healthy blood sugar levels, making it suitable for diabetics or those following a low-carbohydrate diet. Viva Labs Coconut Sugar is a rich source of potassium, calcium, zinc, iron and B - all nutrients that are lost in common refined sugars.

You can use the coconut sugar makes as an easy replacement for any refined white sugar called for in a recipe, at a 1:1 ratio (spoon-for-spoon, cup-for-cup), with no changes needed! You can also east it straight from the bag (!!), or as a sweetener for your coffee or tea (but you won't get any 'sugar spike' of energy). It does have a mild caramel flavur, but it is very subtle, and most people will not be aware of it. In looks, it is comparable to light brown sugar, with the look of cane sugar.

I actually used the Coconut Sugar in the same Brownie recipe (coming below don't worry), as the Coconut Flour, and was quite impressed with the flavor. It is in between regular sugar and brown sugar to me- it has that hint of caramel, yet acts more like regular sugar in a dish. I noticed this more when making the praline topping. I didn't get the same 'ooiness' as from using brown sugar. But the flavor was there. I've since used it in other recipes and no one was any wiser about the goods not containing regular sugar! I am really impressed with it, and am happy to keep it around for our baking needs! 

viva labs coconut  cacao nibs

Viva Labs Organic Raw Cacao Nibs are sourced from a superior variation of cacao beans, the Criollo. They are certified organic, non-GMO, gluten-free and are free from unwanted pesticides and harmful impurities.These beans offer exquisite chocolate aroma and taste, without the bitterness traditionally found in raw cacao. Raw cacao is especially rich in health-promoting flavonoids, fatty acids and minerals such as iron, calcium and magnesium. These nutrients contribute to the maintenance of good health and overall well-being. The nibs are also a natural energy enhancer thanks to the theobromine in them. And unlike other sources of caffeine, you won't have the dreaded 'crash' after consuming it. However, if you are 'sensitive' to caffeine, after a certain time of night, then keep to that rule with these nibs too!

You can use these cacao nibs in cookies, and other baked goods, as an alternative to chocolate chips. Or you can use them to make healthy granola bars, smoothies, yogurt or oatmeal breakfast toppers, or even sprinkle on salads for a savory treat.

 I used them in the brownie recipe for half the chocolate chips, and most the people who ate the brownies had no idea! By using them for an afternoon snack, we all found that a small piece offered a great pick me up of energy! AHA! I also tried them in iced coffee and cookies, and again, no one was the wiser! You can snack directly on them, but they are a bit of a required taste. If you are looking at getting away from refined chocolate though, they are a great alternative! 

Ready for that brownie recipe now?

I knew you would be! LOL

Coconut Flour /Sugar Cacao Nib Brownies

Coconut Flour /Sugar Cacao Nib Brownies

Browniw Ingredients:
1/3 cup Butter, melted (you can also use coconut oil, but you WILL get a coconut taste to the brownies)
1/2 cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
6 Eggs
1 cup Viva Labs Coconut Sugar
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 cup Viva Labs Coconut Flour
3 tbsp prepared coffee
1/2 cp Viva Labs Cacao Nibs or chocolate chips

Praline Topping:
1/3 cp chopped pecans
1-2 tbsp Coconut Sugar

Coconut Flour /Sugar Cacao Nib Brownies 2


1. heat over to 350 degrees and butter 8x8 baking dish.
2. Combine ,elted butter with cocoa. Set aside.
3. In mixing bowl, mix salt, vanilla, sugar, and eggs.
4. Mix in chocolate.
5. Whisk in flour, then add coffee and chips/nibs.
6. Por into prepared pan.
7. Cook brownies for 10 minutes, then remove and sprinkle top with the pecans and then the coconut sugar.
8. Place back in oven and check in 10 minutes. if not done, return for 5 more minutes.
9. Let brownies cool for 10 minutes, before cutting.

Note- if you don't want the nut topping, then you can omit it. 

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